Scambuster: Research Your Contractor

contractor scam pic

ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WKRG) — Linda Smith lives on a fixed income. She plans to move out of her brick home into a mobile home in Robertsdale. But first, she needs it fixed up.

“The roof needs patching, garden tub taken out, doors were rotted around the bottom, quite a bit of work I need to get done on it,” says Smith.

A friend of the family said they could do it for a good price, however–

“He was going to charge me originally $16,000 to do everything but then it went up to $16,400 and then he wanted money for this and money for that, and it ended up being over $18,000.”

She made a list for him of all the projects. She claims over the span of two months, he only did two of them…and not very well. Now she says he’s run off with her money, leaving her with a crumbling house…

“This is one of the holes up there in the ceiling, it was this small before all the rain started and now it’s got so big.”

We have not identified this man because he has not been charged, but there has been a police report filed. We looked him up and found he had a warrant for embezzlement in Oklahoma. Officials say when it comes to something as important as your home, do your homework before hiring a contractor.

“You get three quotes from three different contractors, get references. If they’re not listed with the Better Business Bureau, there are plenty of reviews online,” says Sgt. Keith Miller with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.

A popular website is Home Advisor where you can look up licensed contractors and their reviews.

 

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