RCMP give tips to prevent becoming a victim of contractor fraud

Avoid contractor fraud

The RCMP has released a few tips on how to prevent becoming a victim of contractor fraud. 

Contractor fraud refers to the illegal or unethical business practices of contractors or contracting firms who renovate, repair or (re)build residential homes. 

"Homeowners looking to do renovations ultimately place their trust in the contractor they hire," said Sgt. Peter DeVries.

"The contractor is the expert. They know what work needs to be done, they have a good idea what the material will cost, they have a sense of how long it will take, and they know what permits will be needed."

DeVries says to do your due diligence and thoroughly research any contractor you are considering hiring. 

"For starters, check their references, verify their business license and insurance, and ask to see any building permits they need to get for your job."

"Make sure to get multiple quotes as well, because the more contractors you interview, the better you will get at spotting those that are trustworthy and those that are setting up to take advantage of you."

This list of potential red flags:

  • asking for a substantial upfront cash advance;
  • leaving out key project details (often goes hand-in-hand with a low-ball offer);
  • purportedly running into unexpected problems that require additional cash;
  • selling you materials supposedly left over from previous jobs.

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