Construction fraud is a serious problem, especially for people who are victims of natural disasters. When you are a victim and need work done to your home, you may turn to the first person who says that they can help. Those are the kinds of individuals that fraudulent contractors rely on.
If you do not do your due diligence and research the person or company who wants to work for you, you could end up being taken advantage of. The good news is that there are ways to identify and prevent becoming a victim of construction fraud. Here are five tips that can help.
1. Receive multiple bids
There is no question that you are looking for someone to get the job done as soon as possible, but going with the first option is not always the best idea. It is better if you get multiple bids for your project or find out how much various contractors would charge.
2. Check the Better Business Bureau
Check the name of the contractor with the Better Business Bureau. Make sure that the person you are considering hiring does not have negative reviews.
3. Ask for licensing and proof of insurance
It is always a good idea to ask for insurance proof and licencing. Professionals who are legitimate will often have these with them at all times. They will expect you to ask, so they'll have documentation ready. Take the license numbers and verify them with the BBB.
4. Sign a contract
Contracts often help prove your case in court, so always get a contract before work begins. Have your attorney review the contract for mistakes or items that could cost you your financial investment.
5. Never pay with cash
It is better to pay with a credit card if possible. Your credit card company protects you against fraud, which means you can seek to get your money back if you are taken advantage of. Additionally, if you pay with a check, there is a paper trail. Do not just take your insurance check and sign it over. Deposit it and write out your own check if you must use a check.
These are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of construction fraud. By taking your time when choosing a contractor, you will be in a better position to get a good quote, receive a great team of workers and get the job done right the first time.