In many areas, people are affected by contractor scams and it is important for us to avoid being targeted by any unscrupulous contractors. It only takes a bad situation to really disrupt our home improvement plan. In this case, we should work with contractors who really take pride of their overall works. We should make sure that we know common scam methods and we shouldn’t be afraid to take proper actions. We shouldn’t sign anything that sounds suspicious. Everything should be read thoroughly and if possible, we should ask for contracts with clear outlines and with no fine print.
Scammers are always looking for easy marks and it is a sad fact that elderly is vulnerable targets for scammers. They can be easily duped by convincing pitches. Often, these scammers say that they drive by the house and as a supposedly kind-hearted people, they would alert us about a potential house in our property. Even more convenient, the construction crew is coincidentally in the area and the work can be performed very quickly. In general, reputable contractors don’t work like salesmen and they don’t show in our property unscheduled. They don’t provide sales pitches like any normal salesman.
One of the most common targets for construction scam is roof repair. In this case, scammers will say that our roof is dangerously in bad shape. They say that the problem is invisible to the untrained or naked eye. They will try to assure us that long term water damage can be prevented right now with little improvements. Elderly often can’t keep their property fully maintained and they are often concerned about the condition of their house. The arrival of the contractor will be seen as a real help. However, when the work is completed, they could end up with substandard shingles and poor roofing materials.
Another scam method is to get our driveway repaved. Someone could come to our house saying that the surface of our driveway looks quite rough and it won’t survive another winter. Instead of repairing cracks on our driveways, these people would leave us with even bigger cracks in our bank account. These people may also say that the repaving job could be performed for free, because it will be covered by our insurance company. They will agree to contact our insurer and they won’t actually do us any favour. In the end, we will lose money and our relationship with the insurance company would be disturbed.
In any case, we shouldn’t pay cash up front, although they entice us with a big discount. Chances are, these contractors won’t return the next day and we will be left with torn up driveway and roof. Before agreeing, we should check these people in local Better Business Bureau and if they are not registered, then we should avoid using their services. With little preparation, we should be able to avoid being scammed by bad contractors. We should only come to contractors and don’t let any of them come to us.