Better Business Bureau: Home improvement scammers take money, don’t complete work | Features/Entertainment

Use warning when selecting a dwelling improvement contractor. Cons abound, primarily next a key storm, flood, or other climate celebration when lots of owners are trying to fix their properties. But contractor ripoffs can take place any time, so be wary of substantial-force sales tactics, up front fees, and fly-by-night corporations. Con artists will choose homeowners’ dollars and produce slipshod do the job … or no function at all.

How the scam performs

Property improvement ripoffs can start out with a knock on the door, a flyer, or an advertisement. The contractor may possibly provide a reduced value or a brief timeframe. 1 typical hook is when the scammer claims to be doing work in your neighborhood on a different project and has leftover materials.

As soon as started out, a rogue contractor may well “find” challenges that drastically raise the price. If you item, they threaten to walk absent and go away a 50 percent-finished undertaking. Or they may take your upfront deposit and then never return to do the job. Adhering to a purely natural disaster, scammers persuade property owners to sign about their insurance policies payment.

Ideas to spot this rip-off

  • View out for “red flags.” Say no to money-only offers, higher-strain profits tactics, substantial upfront payments, handshake deals without having a agreement, and on-web site inspections. Not all “storm chasers” are con artists, but plenty of are that you should be careful any time a house contractor contacts you 1st … in particular after a normal catastrophe. Constantly insist on a written contract with the rate, products and timeline. The extra element, the improved.
  • Do your homework. Research for the title of the firm on-line along with “Complaint,” “Review” or “Scam” to come across diverse results. Check them out at
  • to see what other shoppers have expert by examining any issues and/or purchaser reviews. Also, see if the trade association(s) to which they belong stipulates a code of ethics, minimum amount hours of satisfactory perform and trade exams.
  • Check with for references. Poor contractors will be unwilling to share this information and facts and scammers will not wait around for you to do your homework. If you can, get references from past clients. Get more mature references to examine on the quality of the get the job done and newer references to make sure existing employees are up to the endeavor. Also, talk to your good friends, household and coworkers who they’ve worked with in the previous.
  • Know the law. Work with area enterprises that have right identification, licensing and coverage. Ensure that your vendor will get relevant permits and make confident you know who is accountable for what according to your neighborhood rules and that your vendor is prepared to comply.

For a lot more information

If you have noticed a fraud (whether or not or not you have missing money), report it to Your knowledge can assistance other people stay away from falling victim.

Greater Company Bureau serving Canton Region and Greater West Virginia features strategies and advice for people to stay clear of fraudulent practices. Visit or connect with 330-454-9401 to glance up a business enterprise, file a criticism, produce a customer critique, examine recommendations and more.