Watch out for crooks offering illegitimate home contractor bargains

Reporter: Rich Kolko Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

With more of us staying home during the pandemic than they might normally, you might have noticed things that need updating.

Crooks are aware of that, and they are knocking on people’s doors with deals that are too good to be true.

The end result could mean a disaster to your home and your bank account as well.

There might be a knock at the door, a flyer in the mailbox or an ad taped to the door. Perhaps a contractor stops by and says they have extra materials from another job and can help you and save you some money.

Often time, they will say they need a deposit to get started. Then, they never show up, and and your work never gets done.

Or it’s substandard work, and you are out some money — maybe a lot.

Emory Bottorff is a general contractor in Fort Myers. He’s seen some of these crooks at work.

“We have more bad contractor stories sometimes than we do good ones,” Bottorf said. “I’ve seen them come out, especially after storms or disasters, eager to help. They want money down before they get started, and most of the time, they never either come back or finish the job at all.”

A few steps to take when selecting a contractor:

  • Verify license and insurance
  • Check references
  • Don’t pay cash
  • Review contract

There are a lot of building and home improvements going on Southwest Florida, and there are building supply shortages.

Legitimate contractors are running into these problems too, so some delays don’t automatically mean it’s a scam.

There are plenty of good contractors in the area, you just have to do your homework.

MORE: BBB – Hiring the Right Professional

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