With the cold weather upon us it’s important to be alert and wary of door-to-door scams that crop up in the winter months.
Watch out for these red flags when considering home improvements, whether having your HVAC system (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) inspected, your chimney swept, your leaky roof repaired or your heating ducts cleaned.
Beware of the handyman who stops by unannounced because he was “in the neighborhood.” These scammers like to make a quick or faulty repair and then disappear with your money.
Never pay up front. You’re making it easier than ever for a fraudster to take your money and run. Some legitimate contractors may require a small deposit to begin the work, but contractors have credit lines for big-ticket items and don’t need your cash up front to purchase materials.
Beware of special “limited-time offers” that force you into acting quickly. Take the business’s information and do your research through the Better Business bureau or by checking other independent references before hiring.
Be suspicious if you are informed that you need a new heating system or a new roof after a brief inspection. It’s a good idea to get a second opinion from another company before purchasing a big-ticket item.