You don’t have to be a victim of a home repair scam. Arm yourself by being aware of the following red flags of potential home repair scams: ­

  • Contractors who appear uninvited at your doorstep or who call or email you out of the blue ­
  • The contractor says they are doing work in your neighborhood and claims they have “extra material” left over ­
  • You feel pressured to make a decision and sign a contract for the work immediately ­
  • The contractor offers a “special deal” available “today only” ­
  • The contractor points out a “problem” with your home that you never noticed yourself before. Some unscrupulous scam artists have been known to offer “free” inspections and then break something on purpose so they can be paid to “fix” the problem ­The contractor demands full payment up front, particularly if payment is demanded in cash ­
  • The contractor lacks identification, such as a permit from the city or locality ­
  • Offers to give you a discount so that your home can be used as a “model” or if you find additional customers for him/her ­
  • The contractor offers to help finance the project, either from his own funds or the funds of an associate, especially if your home equity or home deed is involved
  • ­The contractor insists you come and examine “damage” with him (while an associate steals valuables from your home)

Some of the more common types of home repair scam involve duct cleaning, driveway sealant, leaky foundations, landscaping, furnace and roofing repair. This is by no means an exhaustive list, however.

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