Although it is always fulfilling to do a project yourself, there are certainly times when hiring a contractor to do the job makes more sense. If you are considering hiring a contractor to help you with your home improvement projects, however, it is essential to be aware of a few of the most common contractor scams. This way, you can be certain you will not be taken advantage of by a scam artist.
Scam #1: “I Have Extra Materials”
If you are ever approached by a supposed contractor who offers to do a job at a great price because or she has “extra materials,” this should send up red flags. This scam is most often employed by con artists who claim to have just completed a driveway repaving project down the road. The scammer offers to repave your driveway with the “leftovers” at a reduce cost. Usually, the person offering to do the job isn’t even the same contractor who did the job down the road!
Scam #2: “I Was in the Neighborhood”
If a contractor comes to your home and claims he or she was in the neighborhood and thought you might be interested in his or her services, you should politely turn that person away. Legitimate contractors don’t act like door-to-door salesmen looking for homeowners to rescue. Simply put – if a contractor comes to you looking for work, he or she is most likely a scam artist.
Scam #3: “Your Insurance Will Pay for It”
Many con artists will talk you into getting a job done because your insurance company will pay for the repairs. If there is no real basis for your insurance claim, you could be facing insurance fraud charges if you turn the bill into your insurance company.
Scam #4: “I Only Accept Cash”
If your contractor insists that you pay for the job with cash, you should look for someone else to do the job. This is particularly true if the contractor wants you to pay in cash before the job even starts. Many of these scammers will offer you a big discount if you pay in cash, but paying in cash is a sure way to lose out on a whole lot of money by a con artist who will just take your money and run.
Scam #5: “I Can Help You Get Financing”
If you are taking on a costly project and the contractor offers to help you obtain financing if you sign over your deed, you should contact your local police department instead. With this scam, the supposed contractor is only trying to get you to sign over your deed so he or she can assume ownership. If you fall for this one, you won’t need to worry about the cost of your remodeling project because you will no longer be the owner of the home.