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How do I spot a fraudulent contractor?

Simple rules to avoid becoming a victim of fraud when looking for a contractor:

  • Only use contractors licensed by the state of California
  • Get a written estimate of costs and get estimates from more than one contractor
  • Demand and check references
  • Ask for proof of insurance
    • Examples of proof include liability and Workmen’s Compensation
  • Insist on a written contract and refuse to sign a contract with blank spaces
  • Get any guarantees in writing
  • Make final payments only after the work is completed
  • Pay by check

The best way to avoid fraud is to arm yourself against it by having a checklist to remind you of what you need to demand when hiring a contractor.

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