Tis the Season for Home Repairs (and Home Repair Scams)

Posted on 05/21/24

Spring has sprung and with warmer weather comes home repairs. Unfortunately, shady contractors are out there looking for homeowners in the market for needed repairs.

Contractor fraud and home improvement scams can cost homeowners thousands of dollars and leave them with shoddy workmanship, unfinished projects, or even damage to their homes.

Scammers often target older adults, but anyone can fall victim to these scams. Here are three things to know to stay safe from a home improvement rip off.

First, make sure to shop around. Don't settle for the first contractor you encounter. Get multiple estimates and ask for references before hiring anyone.

Next, never pay the full cost upfront. Reputable contractors typically require a deposit, but not the full amount prior to starting the job.

Lastly, resist responding to a solicitation at your door, on your phone, or online. Be proactive in your search for a reputable contractor.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

This story is provided by AARP South Dakota. Visit the AARP South Dakota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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