Hiring a professional to do work around the house is a great way to get the job done and save yourself a little bit of a headache. This time of year brings out the home improvement bug in all of us, but it can also give crooked scammers the green light to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners.
Bookmark this list and use it in the future before hiring someone to tackle your home improvement jobs. If you want to avoid being a victim of a scam, ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Is this deal “too good to be true?” If the price for the job or the situation seems too good to be true, it usually is. Quality work takes time and comes with a certain price tag. We all want a great deal, but often scammers deals come at a much greater price.
- Is this person behaving professionally? Not everyone needs to show up in a business suit. Someone doing a home improvement job may get dirty on a jobsite, but they should still behave professionally. Shady and unprofessional business practices are usually easy to spot.
- Do they have a license? Always ask when it comes to big jobs. This is one of your greatest defenses against a scam.
- Did this person call my safety into question? A common scammer tactic is to show up at your door and convince you that something is broken and going to cause your family harm unless they fix it right away. Politely deny the offer and do your research or call a professional to assess the problem instead.
- Was the sense of urgency too urgent? Did this person insist that they could only work TODAY? This is another marker of a scammer. Take some time to do your homework, real professionals won’t show up with “one day only” style deals.
- Is this too much of a coincidence? Did this person just happen to have supplies from a nearby job that they’d love to use for your home? If someone just happens upon your home and already has the supplies on hand, they’re not usually to be trusted. This could also fall under the umbrella of “too good to be true.”
- How does this person want to be paid? If this person is demanding cash only or to be paid upfront, find someone else for the job. Professionals won’t do this and are also more likely to do the job! Paying someone up front is a scammer’s dream come true. Don’t be the victim of this sort of scam.
Before hiring someone, ask around. Talk to friends, family, or neighbors for recommendations of reputable professionals. Read reviews online and ask as many questions as possible. You’ll be much less likely to get scammed and will be empowered to know your decision is a good one.
The BC Home Team has worked directly with many local contractors and would be happy to share our list of outstanding professionals.