Do you know to to avoid getting scammed by contractors? Having just been scammed by a contractor once again on a big repair job, I want to share some very important insight into this often shady contractor business. Since I have been down that road before and apparently did not learn a good enough lesson, I had to pay a high price again. This lesson one was a big one, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Fortunately, I decided to check up on some contacts and companies this guy claimed to have used, unfortunately not until after the job was done.
The contacts either did not exist, or the license# was used to impostor a legitimate business. Unbelievably bold, but if it would have not been for a plumbing job I seriously questioned I would have never known about being scammed. This is what unsuspecting homeowners like me are falling victims too.
This time I am asking for all the help I can get, from city inspectors to qualified contractors. It probably will end up costing me an enormous amount of money to get fixed. There is little hope that this shoddy contractor will ever repay me for the damage he caused. The damage is done but here are some tips on how to not get scammed by a crooked contractor. I will follow my own advice from now on, no matter who refers who.
Check on these 10 red flags via MSN Real Estate:
Avoid a Contractor if he:
- Provides credentials or references that can’t be verified.
- Offers a special price, but only if you sign a contract today.
- Accepts only cash, requires large deposits or wants the entire cost up front.
- Asks you to write a check in his name (not to the business).
- Won’t provide a written contract or complete bid.
- Refuses to apply for building permits, and asks you to get them.
- Offers exceptionally long warranties.
- Proposes to do most or all of the work on weekends and after-hours.
- Gives you a low-ball offer that sounds too good to be true.
- Has “Will work for beer” painted on the side of his trucks.
Check construction work or other services provided, check the paperwork for inconsistencies or deviations from the original agreed contract, and demand and check the bills he is supposed to provide you.
Unfortunately I failed to demand all of it at the beginning, and good luck to me now getting all the paperwork. The longer time passes, the less likely are you to receive the proper information and paperwork. Don’t fall for a scammer and fraud like I did.