Home Improvement and Home Repair Frauds
Home renovations and home repairs often require a substantial investment by homeowners. These large sums of money attract fraudsters and con artists to the home repair industry looking for ways to scam your money, while offering you fraudulently services. If you receive a mail or brochure offering to do expensive fixes for a fairly low price you should be careful. Since offering to do pricey jobs for unusually low prices, is just one technique dishonest home repair firms use to hook customers. Once you sign the contract and pay in advance, you may learn why the company offers cheaper rates than their competitors, because often, they don't show up to complete the job and leave you with phony contact information.
Another scheme these con artists will use to scam the money you have put aside for home maintenance, is to offer free inspection. After these free inspections of your home, you'll end up with a list of expensive repairs that you don't need. These con artist may even show up at your door posing as a utility repairmen or home insulation inspectors offering a free inspection. They might offer to do the repair on the spot, which may leave you with a huge bill and a poor repair job.
Prevent Home Improvement and Repair Fraud
Some of the precautions you can take to avoid falling victim to home improvement and home repair fraudinclude:
- Receive several estimates and compare prices from different firms for every repair job. Ask if the company charges for an estimation before scheduling an appointment for the repairperson to inspect your home.
- Jot down the salesperson's name and the address of the company he or she works for.
- Request references from the firm, to check out their services and reputation.
- Contact your local Better Business Bureau to examine the company's reputation before you sign a contract.
- Examine the contract, before you sign it, to make sure there's a completion date and how much the job will cost.
- Pay with a check or money order, never with cash. It may be wise to make installment payments, so the repairman doesn't receive the full amount until after the work is completed.