Tips for Stopping Contractor Scams Before They Start

Tips for Stopping Contractor Scams Before They Start
A recent story from Australia hit the news and brought awareness to contract scams that target the elderly. It's important to discuss these scams with your parents. Stop these scams before they start.

Here's How a Scam Like This Works

In this case, an elderly couple answered their door and found a contractor who pointed out structural flaws in their roof. He said if they didn't have it repaired, they risked having the roof collapse while they were inside. He quoted them $400 and said he and his team could start the next day.

The next afternoon, after tearing off the tiles and some of the beams, he informed them the structural damage was worse than expected. He needed $20,000 to finish the job. The couple took out all of the savings they had and borrowed from their daughters.

Work proceeded and a few days later, they were told another $20,000 was needed. When the couple said they didn't have the money, the contractor and his team left that day and never returned. The elderly couple ended up with an unfinished roof that had to be covered with a tarp to keep rain out.

Always Ask for Second Opinions

If it does happen to your parents, they have every right to ask the contractor for a free quote. Rather than hire the contractor on the spot, they should call around and get at least two more free quotes.

Once they have a few quotes, they need to talk to the state's attorney general or division that oversees contractors and ask if there are any reports against the different contractors. The state will keep records of any contractors who have failed to complete work or took a deposit and disappeared.

Talk to Neighbors

If your parents have neighbors who have had similar work completed, ask them for recommendations. You and your parents can look at the finished work and decide if the repairs or additions meet your expectations. If you find a contractor who has finished work at multiple houses, it's usually a good sign that the contractor finishes work that is started.

Ask to See Licensing Paperwork

If contractors are required to be licensed in your area, ask to see the license. Take the number and ask the state if it is a valid license. If there are concerns, move on to the next contractor. Don't work with a contractor who leaves you with doubts.

A number of senior citizens are lonely and answer the phone or door in order to talk to someone. If your parent is lonely, make companionship a priority. Caregivers offering senior care services can spend time with your parents and help ease feelings of isolation of loneliness and isolation. Call a senior care agency to learn more.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Murray, UT, contact the caring staff at Interim Healthcare. Call today 801-401-3515.

Author: Michael and Marlena Hawkins, Owners, Interim HealthCare, Salt Lake City, UT 

Interim HealthCare of Salt Lake City has been in business since February 2014, providing in-home personal care and support services that help our elderly and/or disabled neighbors live enriched, safe and independent lives. Our goal is to provide customized care and support services that make it possible for our clients to remain in the comfort of their own homes rather than relocate to an assisted living facility. Interim HealthCare is family owned by Michael and Marlana Hawkins, and is a Veteran Owned Small Business.

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