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Checklist: Preventing Builder Fraud

When selecting a home professional, using a few guidelines can help protect you from fraudulent contractors. These warning signs indicate a contractor who may be running a scam:

Does not list a number in the phone book.

Asks you to get required building permits.

Only accepts cash.

Solicits door-to-door.

Says you will get a discount if you find other customers for that contractor.

Uses left-over materials to complete your job.

Tells you your job will be a demonstration.

Offers exceptionally long guarantees.

Asks you to pay for the entire job up front.

Suggests you borrow money from a lender the contractor knows.

Try to scare you into signing for repairs that they say are urgent.

Demands a lien on your property.

Always read and understand every word of a contract before signing it. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification, and NEVER sign a contract with a service professional who makes promises that sound too good to be true.

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