Avoid Home Repair Scams
The Council of Better Business Bureaus recently reported that the number of home repair scams has increased by 60% over the last five years. Not surprisingly, most of the cases involved senior citizens who were ripped-off by at-home in-person solicitors who promised to make repairs after receiving an up-front payment. The scammer usually offers a lower price than what is usually charged to lure the unsuspecting homeowner. The scammer then demands an up-front payment to “buy supplies” and to begin the work. Once the homeowner pays the up-front fee, the scammer either disappears without doing any work OR does substandard work with substandard materials. In either case, the homeowner gets ripped-off.
The most common scams involve roof leaks, plumbing, chimney sweeps, mold, and termites. Here are a few things you can do to avoid getting scammed.
- Use only licensed and bonded contractors.
- Get multiple estimates and conduct a price comparison.
- Get references from the contractor.
- Check the contractor’s rating with your local Better Business Bureau.
- Get a contract for services in writing.
- Read the contract carefully before signing
- Never make an up-front payment
- Make a payment only after the work is completed OR make partial payments as the work is completed.
- Check the contractor’s work before making a payment.
The information in this article is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice. The information provided is not intended to create, and viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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