Contractor’s Scams

Defend Yourself from Contractor’s Scams

Not everyone out there in the business world plans on playing fair and giving you the value for your money they promise at first. Unfortunately, some of the people, organizations, and businesses intend to scam you out of your hard-earned money and steal it. There are two types of scams. One where people give nothing, steal the money and run away, and two where they provide inadequate and pathetic products or services that are completely unfair for the charged price. This happens quite a lot in house-related work like renovation, repairing, or building. Lucky for you, we are here to tell you all the red flags that will allow you to protect yourself from cheaters and scammers.

Cold Calls Are a No Go

We all have received random calls, messages, or emails telling us about a great deal offered by some random home contractors. News flash! There’s a high chance you just got contacted by a scammer. Even the people who knock on your doors and claim to be a contractor can be put in this category. Never take a chance because if you are wrong, you will be losing a lot of money.

These kinds of people always demand money upfront and claim that it’s only a cash deposit needed for the materials. Look for minor mistakes. A closer inspection will always reveal mistakes and missing addresses. It is also possible that the vehicle they drive in does not carry any type of label or company name. Catch the hidden mistakes and you will always be safe.

Plus, the internet has everything. Simply search their name on Google and see what pops up. If they don’t exist on any Search Engine, chances are you are getting trapped in a scheme.

Use the Services Offered by Your Insurance Company

Your insurance provider isn’t only useful after an accident or unfortunate event occurs. They are there to help you with your insurance claim and have a lot of valuable information. When deciding to go for a contractor, make sure everything they are about to do is covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Your insurance company might send an adjuster to your house to inspect the level of damage and decide what repairs will justify them.

Keep in mind, the insurance policy will only provide coverage for the repairs that the adjuster approves.

Written Contract & Estimates

Never decide on a verbal contract. People can deny what you agreed with words in a second. That’s why you must always get everything done in writing. It’s always a bad idea to sign a contract before writing up the estimates that the contractors will not exceed under any circumstances. This list will highlight all the repairs needed and prices for each. It will also contain material and labor cost. Remember, professionals offer free consultation and estimation. Steer way clear off any contractors that ask you to pay for their bids. Also, get different estimates to get the best deal available.

No Upfront Payment

Make a rule for yourself. Never pay up front. Just don’t do it. The hand that holds the money for the job has power over it. You hold the power and can dictate the job and how it will be done, but if you pay before the job’s done, your contractor will be the one leading the project. Make a practice of releasing the final payment only when the job is done to your satisfaction.

Do Your Homework

Ask for their official documents and business license. There’s a high chance that they might not have any to begin with. If they do provide, check signs for forgery, because they are probably fake. Or you can just copy down their license number and call the licensing authorities to verify the contractors.

Signed Contract is a Must

If you are happy with the contractor and they check out, then ask for a contract that lists every little detail regarding the work they are about to do. Read the contract carefully and understand what each sentence is saying. Check for any empty spaces because contractors can get that filled out later on and put the blame on you. In case you don’t understand the language written on the contract paper or it feels ambiguous, don’t sign it.

Once the contractor finishes their job responsibilities, closely inspect their work and check the quality. Make sure everything they did matches what’s mentioned in the contract. If something is out of agreement, get it fixed.