Friday, May 10, 2013


One of the largest purchases in our lives is a home.  All of our hard work and efforts materialize in acquiring a property or house.  That’s our private space and our shelter, and we commit to have it as neat and special as a home can be.  Homeowners prepare for each season, and save money for those long wanted home improvements.  With home improvement costs so high, homeowners have to shop with caution and be very selective when spending their hard-earned money on a home improvement project.  Whether it’s remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, or adding an addition to your house, these projects are a major expense.  Making matters worse, home improvement scams and unprofessional workmanship are on the rise.  As a result, many choose to get a background check investigation on their chosen company or contractor prior to making a payment.

We expect contractors to be reliable, professional and come out to do a good job at a fair price.  But, as in all areas of the economy, some workers are not as skilled as others, and making matters worse, some are out there just to steal our money.  Law enforcement and private investigators agree that scam cases are on the rise.  In many cases, criminals will pose as licensed contractors in the area, but once payment is made, the contractor is never seen again, and the money is lost!  In other cases, the contractor does not have the training and experience as claimed, costing the homeowner serious money and serious headaches.  It’s important to verify! 

Wymoo International recently published a video on how to avoid these type of scams, as seen in the U.S. News and World Report article, How to Spot a Home Contractor Scam. Wymoo® is an international private investigation firm specializing in fraud and scam prevention, and lowering risk for clients through background checks and due diligence.  The video is quite helpful.

In the U.S. the majority of victims are seniors, who are being taking advantage of these criminals who pose a risk to our communities.  They use fake website and business cards, and visit homes and appear to have all the knowledge and skills to do the job.  They are friendly and inviting.  They are con men!  Experts say it’s important to verify your contractor with your state.  Ask for the contractor’s license number to verify with your state’s licensing board. Call the Better Business Bureau to see if the contractor has any history of complaints.  Ask for 3 references, and contact at least two of them.  When possible, get a referral for a company or contractor from a trusted neighbor or friend.  Lastly, search the internet for the contractor or company name for any negative history.  And never make a large upfront payment without seeing some work done.
Lastly, remember to not shop on price alone.  It’s more important to have the job done right rather than save a little money and not be satisfied.  If, after all your research, you still can’t find someone you can trust, ask your local Lowes or Home Depot who they recommend.

Best of luck,

A. Hathaway 
© 2013 A. Hathaway

Different Themes
Posted by the Investigators

This copyrighted article was written and published by the editor and site author, A. Hathaway, or other guest private investigator, expert or contributor as noted.