Unlicensed and Unscrupulous Contractors
Avoid Becoming a Victim
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» What to know before you start
» What to know before you start
Each year, thousands of property owners in Arizona are solicited by unlicensed contractors who promise deals, which sound too good to be true. Most of the time, they are, and all too often, the complainant is defrauded out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Some of the questionable tactics a consumer should be on guard against are:
DON'T accept a contractor's advertising or word as proof of being legitimate or of possessing a current, valid contractor's license. Call the ROC.
DON'T respond to "scare tactic" door to door salesman who say they were just driving by and notice a problem with your roof or driveway, and they just happen to have extra material on their truck. Call the ROC.
DON'T make major or full advance payments to the contractor for purchase of materials for your job site. Con men will often do superficial defective work, or even no work at all and never return. You then might encounter major bills to correct the damage or problems left behind.
DON'T supply telephone solicitors with credit card or other personal credit information on promises of free inspections or free gifts. Call the ROC, the Attorney General's office, or the Better Business Bureau to check on other consumer complaints against the company.
DON'T accept the first price or bid that comes along, especially on major construction or remodeling projects. Be skeptical of bids or prices that are much lower than others obtained. Be sure all bidders possess current contractor's licenses for the type of work to be performed.
DON'T assume that even if a contractor is licensed that you will get what you pay for and be protected. Occasionally, even licensed contractors develop financial difficulties, have employee or credit problems, or fail to keep their license current. Call the ROC before signing any contract or advancing any large payments for work that has not been performed.
DON'T allow solicitors or contractors to have access to your home or property without a prior appointment, and without having first verified the contractor's name, the name of the business, the company's current contractor license number, and the name of the person who will be sent to your home to do the work.
DON'T judge a book by its cover. Many con men depend upon their victim's being fooled by their friendly, professional appearance or confident approach.
They may also take the other approach of attempting to intimidate or threaten people into signing contracts or making payments. Call the Registrar of Contractors or call your local police.
DON'T forget that you are the customer. That means that you may also be a target for a fraudulent scheme or theft. Call the ROC!
Remember there is seldom a case where a property owner needs to sign a contract immediately.
A contractor who tells you that the work must be done right away, for your family's or your own safety, is probably trying to force an immediate sale, or is perpetrating a fraud.
If you are told, or believe you have an emergency, such as a gas leak, or a serious electrical problem, call your local fire department or public utility company.