Homeowners are often deceived by home repair scams, and the result is that they’ve been taken advantage of. In order to avoid being a victim, you need to know what signs to look for.
Scammers will go out of their way to appear legitimate.
Scammers will go out of their way to appear legitimate. They’ll call themselves a “certified technician” or “contractor,” and they’ll show up at your door with uniforms, badges, and equipment that look legit. If you get a call from someone saying they’re with a company you’ve never heard of before (or even if you have heard of the company), ask them for their phone number and website address so that you can verify whether it’s who they say it is.
A contractor may suggest you pay cash up front.
If a contractor asks you to pay cash up front, they might be trying to scam you.
If you are not sure about the contractor or their work, then do not pay them in advance. It can be hard to get your money back if something goes wrong with the project and it’s too late for you to cancel or have someone else do the job.
A contractor will claim one price in the beginning, but seem to find more work that needs to be done.
It’s a scam if you are asked to pay more than the original estimate for any reason, including if the contractor claims to find more work that needs to be done. The only exception is if you have already agreed in writing and paid for additional work at this point. If a contractor says he needs to do “extra work” or something else, don’t agree unless you’re getting another written estimate and paying an additional deposit on top of the original one.
Also beware of contractors who ask for all of their money up front before starting work on your home. While there are some legitimate reasons why they may need this much upfront money (like having no business credit), it’s still generally better practice not to give them everything up front until they’ve completed all of their jobs satisfactorily.
Pushy and demanding contractors shouldn’t be trusted.
You should also be wary of contractors who are pushy or demanding. If a contractor is too eager to get started, it may be because he’s trying to rush you into making a decision. And if someone seems insistent about you signing a contract before getting quotes from other people, that should be a red flag. These contractors may also try to rush through the process of evaluating your home repairs so they can take advantage of you.
It’s important to remember that there’s no reason why anyone should want you to pay them up front without giving any kind of guarantee in return—and that includes contractors!
Unfortunately, there’s very little you can do if you fall victim to a scammer.
Unfortunately, there’s very little you can do if you fall victim to a scammer. You should contact the police and the Better Business Bureau, as well as the contractor’s state licensing board or local consumer protection agency. It helps to write down every detail of your experience in case it comes up during an investigation.
In order to prevent these scams from happening in the first place, it’s important that homeowners understand how they work and how much information they need from potential contractors before making decisions about repairs or renovations. If something sounds too good to be true—or if someone tries hard but fails at sounding professional—it probably is!
Always do your research before hiring a contractor.
Always do your research before hiring a contractor. The internet is a great source of information, and you should always check the contractor’s reputation online. Check for reviews, referrals, complaints and other information about the company.
Check with your local chamber of commerce as well as the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any issues that might affect how you feel about hiring them. Also check with local law enforcement agencies to see if they have had any issues with the company or its employees in the past.
Always ask for references from previous customers before signing any contracts or starting work on your project. Do not hire anyone without speaking to at least one previous client first! You can also ask for proof of insurance coverage so that it covers all third parties (such as yourself) should something happen while working on your property—this is crucial since no one wants their house burned down due faulty wiring or bad drywall installation!
Never sign any contract before getting a second opinion.
If a contractor offers you a contract and asks you to sign it right away, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You have the right to know exactly what the terms of your agreement are and whether those terms fit within your budget. If anything about their offer seems suspicious or unfair, don’t be afraid to say no.
Contractors will often try to rush potential customers into signing contracts by promising that their prices are temporary or that work needs to begin immediately for reasons such as weather conditions or impending holidays (which don’t actually exist). When this happens, stay calm and politely but firmly tell them that you need time to think about it before making any decisions—and then do just that!
If at all possible, find out who referred you so that person can vouch for how good they are at working on homes like yours; if they’re not affiliated with anyone else in town (or if they refuse), then run away!
You don’t have to be afraid of home repair scams. By taking the time to do your research and be wary of red flags, you should be able to avoid getting duped by these con artists. Remember that no one is going to get rich from doing honest work—and if someone does try to pressure you into paying more than what’s fair for their services, it’s probably best not to work with them anyway!