BBB provides important tips on how to avoid home improvement scams

HOMEOWNERS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. WHETHER IT’S A ROOF REPAIR DRIVEWAY WORK OR HOME REMODEL HOME REPAIR AND CONTRACTORS ARE IN HIGH DEMAND RIGHT NOW. KEEP US THROUGH THE PANDEMIC ARE MORE INTERESTED IN THEIR HOME. THEY’VE BEEN IN THEIR HOME. THEY’RE LOOKING AT IT AND GOING THIS YOU KNOW WITH THE CLOSER EYE RECOGNIZING WHAT NEEDS TO BE REPAIRED AND WHAT THEY WANT TO UPGRADE. UNFORTUNATELY ACCORDING TO BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU OF MARYLAND PRESIDENT. ANGIE BARNETT SCAMMERS ARE WELL AWARE OF THE DEMAND. WE SIGNIFICANT UPTICK IN INQUIRIES AND COMPLAINTS OFTENTIMES. IT’S A SO-CALLED CONTRACTOR KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR OFFERING TO DO WORK. SOMETIMES CLAIMING A LIMITED TIME DEAL OR SPECIAL PRICING BARNETT WARNS THAT BOTH ARE RED FLAGS. SHE SAYS CONSUMERS SHOULD AVOID DOOR TO DOOR SOLICITATION A LOT OF LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES AREN’T DOING THAT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC AND BE LEERY OF CASH ONLY SERVICE AND/OR A REALLY LOW QUOTE. IT’S A SIGN THAT THEY’RE CUTTING CORNERS WHAT THE COMMON IS THE EXPECTATION FOR EITHER FULL PAY FOR THE WORK OR YOU KNOW A HEFTY CHECK THAT THEY WANT YOU TO WRITE PRIOR TO THEM COMING BACK TO DO THE WORK. BUT BARNETT SAYS IN MANY OF THESE CASES SCAMMERS DON’T SHOW UP AT ALL OR SHOW UP AND DO SHODDY OR INCOMPLETE WORK. SHE SAYS CONSUMERS SHOULD ALWAYS CHECK THE MARYLAND HOME IMPROVEMENT COMMISSION WEBSITE TO CONFIRM THAT A CONTRACTOR IS LICENSED AND NEVER A MORE THAN 30% OF THE QUOTED PRICE UP FRONT HOME STANDS FOR A LOT MORE AND KNOWING THAT SCAMMERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT EMOTION OF THAT INVESTMENT. IT MAKES THIS A HARDER HIT SCAM AND IT REALLY LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD BECAUSE A HOMEOWNER CAN BE OF ANY AGE THE MARYLAND HOME IMPROVEMENT COMMISSION WEBSITE IS A GREAT RESOURCE AND CAN PROVIDE PROTECTION FOR HOMEOWNERS WITH A LINK TO IT ON OUR WEBSITE AND IN THE WBAL THE APP REPORTING I

BBB: What homeowners should know before hiring contractors

If spending more time inside your home during the coronavirus pandemic has you now planning to do some home improvements, there are a few things you need to know before you hire a contractor.Some homeowners are losing money because they’re people who aren’t legitimate contractors.Whether it’s a roof repair, driveway work or a home remodel, home repair and contractors are in high demand right now.”People through the pandemic are more interested in their home. They’ve been in their home, they’re looking at it, and with a closer eye, recognizing what needs to be repaired and what they want to upgrade,” said Angie Barnett, president of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland.Unfortunately, according to Barnett, scammers are well aware of the demand.”We’ve seen a significant uptick in inquiries and complaints,” Barnett said.Often times it’s a so-called contractor knocking at your door, offering to do work, sometimes claiming a limited time deal or special pricing.Barnett warns that both are red flags. She says consumers should:Avoid door to door solicitation, a lot of legitimate businesses aren’t doing that because of the pandemic. Be leery of cash only service and/or a really low quote, because it is a sign they’re cutting corners.”What they have in common is the expectation for either full pay for the work or you know, a hefty check that they want you to write prior to them coming back to do the work,” Barnett said.But Barnett said, in many of these cases, scammers don’t show up at all or show up and do shoddy or incomplete work.She says consumers should always check the Maryland Home Improvement Commission website to confirm that a contractor is licensed, and never pay more than 30% of the quoted price up front.”Home stands for a lot more, so knowing that scammers take advantage of that emotion, that investment, it makes this a harder hit scam, and it really levels the playing field because a homeowner can be of any age,” Barnett said.

If spending more time inside your home during the coronavirus pandemic has you now planning to do some home improvements, there are a few things you need to know before you hire a contractor.

Some homeowners are losing money because they’re people who aren’t legitimate contractors.

Whether it’s a roof repair, driveway work or a home remodel, home repair and contractors are in high demand right now.

“People through the pandemic are more interested in their home. They’ve been in their home, they’re looking at it, and with a closer eye, recognizing what needs to be repaired and what they want to upgrade,” said Angie Barnett, president of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland.

Unfortunately, according to Barnett, scammers are well aware of the demand.

“We’ve seen a significant uptick in inquiries and complaints,” Barnett said.

Often times it’s a so-called contractor knocking at your door, offering to do work, sometimes claiming a limited time deal or special pricing.

Barnett warns that both are red flags. She says consumers should:

  • Avoid door to door solicitation, a lot of legitimate businesses aren’t doing that because of the pandemic.
  • Be leery of cash only service and/or a really low quote, because it is a sign they’re cutting corners.

“What they have in common is the expectation for either full pay for the work or you know, a hefty check that they want you to write prior to them coming back to do the work,” Barnett said.

But Barnett said, in many of these cases, scammers don’t show up at all or show up and do shoddy or incomplete work.

She says consumers should always check the Maryland Home Improvement Commission website to confirm that a contractor is licensed, and never pay more than 30% of the quoted price up front.

“Home stands for a lot more, so knowing that scammers take advantage of that emotion, that investment, it makes this a harder hit scam, and it really levels the playing field because a homeowner can be of any age,” Barnett said.

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