Four Ways to Protect Yourself from Construction Scams
Fraud in the construction industry has seen an alarming rise in the past few years. For whatever reason, conmen and rip-off artists seem keen on making a quick buck in construction by running whatever kind of scam they can think of.
Below are four ways you can protect yourself from criminals in construction who will stop at nothing to milk you out of as much money as possible.
1.Ask for Proof
By law, all contractors have to have a state or municipal license to prove their legitimacy. If they don't have one, then it's a sure sign that you should give them a pass. Also, the most reputable companies have some form of insurance. Not having insurance is a red flag that you should definitely watch out for.
2.Basic Info is a Must
Don't be afraid to demand things like a verifiable physical address, business cards, website address, email ad, and telephone number. If they can't provide that information, then they have something to hide. Legitimate companies have no reason to withhold such information since they're easy to find and verify online anyway.
3.Cash-Only Payments = Red Flag
Paying in cash makes the transaction untraceable, which is why it's the go-to method of fraudulent contractors. Always pay with a credit card or a check when dealing with any contractor. This way, if you do get scammed, it's easier to track the money and there's a huge possibility of being reimbursed.
4.Don't Pay in Full
Deposits are expected in the construction industry. Paying in full isn't. It's relatively unheard of, even amongst reputable companies and long-time partners. Legally operating contractors know better than to ask for all of the money up front. Anyone who asks that of you is most likely a fraud.
Scam artists are smart, so you have to be smarter. Safeguard yourself and your finances when dealing with construction by following these tips.