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How to Avoid In-Home Contractor Theft

Summer is the season for home improvement. No matter how intense the job, it’s important that your contractor is someone you can trust. With access to your home, they are given great responsibility. Even if you are working with a trusted contractor, they may sub-contract some of the work and mistakenly invite untrustworthy employees into your home. Follow these tips for both selecting a trustworthy contractor and ensuring your home stays secure while contractors and employees have access to it.

  • Look for a crime bonded contractor
  • Lock up valuables and important paperwork in a safe while work is being done. Make sure anything that could easily be slipped into a toolbox or any paperwork that has personal information that could be used for identity theft is locked up. For larger items that won’t fit in a safety deposit box, try to tuck them away and out of the eye’s sight.
  • Call at least 3 references. Never hire a contractor that refuses to give you references.
  • Verify contractors’ licenses. You can do this by calling the Secretary of State’s office in the state they are licensed in.
  • Never hire a contractor who does not have a business card or local phone number and address
  • Be present in the home while work is being done. If you can’t it’s advised that you move major valuables to a friend’s home, your car, or a storage unit.
  • Never hire a contractor that solicited your home. Especially if they point out specific problems you haven’t noticed yourself.
  • Don’t succumb to high pressure sales tactics or pitches for unusually “great deals”

 

Courtesy of Pennsylvania Attorney General 

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