Home Improvement Schemes & How to Avoid Them

home-improvement-scams-how-you-can-avoid-being-fooledEver been caught off guard by the supposed contractor whom you have paid upfront to fix something, and he either never shows up or does the job wrong. Well, there are contractors out there whose sole aim is to – rip you off – and you need to stay away from these thieves.

Most security experts will tell you that one of the most common methods that are used in identity theft is that of home improvement schemes. In fact home improvement fraud ranks among the top three as the most used type of fraud. There are many types of fraud that fall into this field and have left many homeowners thousands of dollars lighter in the pocket. To avoid being a victim of the home improvement scam here are a few tips you can use.

The Free Inspection

There are many legitimate businesses that offer free inspections or estimates. You should still avoid advertisements that offer free inspections of roofing, foundation, air conditioning systems and anything else. An inspection takes a lot of time and work, so you need to be aware of this. Sometimes free inspections are a gimmick so scammers can get into your house look at the items there and find out more about your personal life. It is very easy for them to pick up personal information, credit card bills, bank information, etc, while using this ploy.

Internet Advertising

Some times a fake home improvement company will contact you through email and try to make an appointment to see you, your home and the problem. These are very insistent, and the scammer is often looking for unsecured Wi-Fi connection, financial statements and information. You can avoid this by not clicking on a link sent to you and not making an appointment right there over the phone. Instead take a number and call them back. Find out more about the business and check with your local Better Business Bureau.

Stay Away from the Door to Door Contractor

It sounds easy to believe when the contractor knocks on your door and says he noticed your gutters needed work. He obviously noticed because he has been working in the area. All he needs is for you to sign a simple contract, give out personal information, and you have suddenly become fleeced. Remember, most contractors are going to be way to busy to go calling door to door and prefer their new customers to come from referrals.

Beware of the Contractor who Has No Credentials

You have to ask for referrals for past work experience. You should be very leery of contractors who have no past work experience or anything they can show as their past experience. A true contractor will show you before and after photos and even give you the telephone of previous customers. To avoid becoming a victim of this type of scam be sure to ask a contractor for is credentials, associations, and ask to see previous work samples. Always check a contractor out.  Keep your identity safe from all sorts of scams.  Get free 30 day credit monitoring today.