The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) warns that when natural disasters bring destruction, con artists follow closely behind. Scammers prey on individuals who are emotionally vulnerable and overwhelmed.
Juliana Harris of the Department of Consumer Affairs told South Carolina Radio Network that consumers need to do their homework before hiring a contractor. “We just want to make sure that consumers due diligence of researching,” Harris said.
She said beware of contractors who just show up at the door. They’ll offer you a great deal because they’re “in the neighborhood” and have materials left over from a previous job. Reputable contractors don’t work that way.
Get all promises in writing. If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t count. Verbal promises are worthless because if there’s a dispute, you have nothing to back up your claim. “To ensure that’s it’s a legitimate contractor and you’re not just going to get duped out of that money.” said Harris.
Do not be pressured into buying. Good businesses don’t need to rush you into a decision. The high-pressure buy now approach is designed to keep you from comparison shopping. Don’t fall for it and get at least two bids for the work.
Never pay in full up front. Make sure the contract has a payment schedule. Don’t let payments get ahead of the work.