Don’t Be a Victim of These Contractor Scams

The recent popularity in do-it-yourself repairs and renovations has many homeowners rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. Replacing a faucet may be easy, but installing a roof or dishwasher can be daunting.

These larger projects are better left to the professionals, but hiring a contractor can be a job in itself. Protect yourself from less-than-honest contractors by watching for these telltale signs of fraud.

A knock on the front door

One prevalent scam occurs when a “contractor” not known to you offers to conduct a free inspection of your home. The contractor then “finds” serious problems. Of course, you want it fixed. And not only do you have to pay the scammer, you may have to make a claim on your homeowners insurance. Seniors and people without much repair knowledge can be susceptible to this scam.

The negotiator

If a contractor offers to negotiate your insurance claims, walk away. A contractor cannot ensure that your claim will be approved and no amount of negotiating will change this.

A reputable contractor lets you handle the insurance company.

A work in progress

If a contractor is in the process of repairing your home and asks you to file another claim, you may want to get a second opinion. Many contractors will agree to fix repairs cheaply and then intentionally cause more damage. If you agree, you may be participating in insurance fraud.

Make sure you aren’t duped into making unnecessary homeowners claims; do your research before hiring a contractor.

Successful businesses don’t go door to door. Check your insurance company’s recommended contractor list and the Better Business Bureau. Ensure your contractor has proper licensing.

Avoid being scammed, and that kitchen repair that was done properly and came in on time and on budget will make you happy every time you look at it.