How to Detect a Scam Artist Before You Hand Over
the Money 4 Warning Signs of a Crooked
hate to say it, but not all contractors are
We?re not all crooks. But there are people
out there who will overcharge you and give you garbage. Others
aren?t dishonest, just incompetent?they couldn?t build a
birdhouse if you put a gun to their head, let alone a
Wouldn?t it be great if all dishonest,
incompetent contractors were terrible at selling themselves?
That way, when you talked to them over the phone or had them
present their project idea in your home, you could separate the
good from the bad right away.
Yeah, and I?d like to win the lottery while
we?re dreaming. Let?s talk practicalities.
Here are 4 of the 8 signs in my book ?Home
Contractor Secrets?Revealed? that will warn you away from a
crooked contractor. If you see any?or all?of these signs, you
have trouble on your hands. Cut the interview short and walk
1) The contractor makes a cold-call to your
house. A ?cold call? means he calls you out of the blue. He
doesn?t know anyone you know, and no one recommended
If a contractor is making cold calls, it?s
because none of his other clients will recommend him or give
him referrals. Do not work with this kind of
There are a few exceptions to this?some good
contractors are aggressive in trying to grow their businesses,
but they?re rare. One situation that I can think of is if your
neighbors are remodeling their home?a worker might come by and
give you a flyer. In this situation you can go see the remodel
for yourself. You can ask your neighbor about the quality of
the work. In this situation the worker isn?t trying to sell you
anything. If you like what you see, you can give the company a
2) The contractor tries to pressure you into
making an immediate decision. An honest contractor knows you
need time to think it over. Crooked contractors will tell you
that their price is a discount that is good ?only if you accept
it by the end of the day.?
They are trying to stop you from getting any
other bids. 90% of the time, their ?discount price? is more
expensive than everyone else?s regular quote. Run, do not walk,
away from these ?deals.?
3) The contractor offers discounts or
finder?s fees for finding other customers. Good contractors
rely on referrals and word of mouth to get their business. Good
contractors don?t have to bribe you to make you work with
4) The contractor wants you to get all the
building permits. This could be a sign that the contractor is
not licensed and is trying to avoid getting caught. This is not
always the case, but be aware.
If remodeling is a war, then scam artists are
the vultures that circle the battlefield looking for easy prey.
A scam artist doesn?t want to work. He wants money for nothing.
But a scam artist can?t fool you if you do your homework. If
you want more information on how spot a crooked contractor
before you give him any money?and learn other ways to save
thousands of dollars on your remodeling project, go
year third generation builder and
remodeler helps families save money and