Awareness Week for Entrepreneurs is Here!
From 12 to 16 July, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) highlights the problem of contractors and suppliers exploiting disaster victims after disasters.
In the hope that vulnerable homeowners are more concerned about their family's safety than they are about going over a contract with a fine-grained comb, some contractors and suppliers may pressure people to hire them with fancy outlets and suspiciously good prices.
After homeowners sign the agreement, these scams either complete the work with fuzzy materials or, if they managed to get the money in advance, skip the city without doing the job at all.
Entrepreneurial fraud is one billion dollars. problems and the NICB encourages homeowners to follow these tips in the wake of a natural disaster:
1. If it's too good to be true, it probably is! Crooked entrepreneurs lurk in the wake of hurricanes and hail in hopes of catching homeowners off guard. Be suspicious of all contractors approaching you after a storm and always call your insurance company before making any repairs.
2. Let's see some ID. Ask any contractor or seller for their driver's license, license plate, license plate and insurance certificate. Do not be afraid to ask for references or search the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed regarding the contractor.
3. Be a smart customer. Get estimates from several contractors before making any repairs. Intrusive salespeople often force you to sign immediately, but by taking the time and weighing your options, you can get quality work done at the best possible price.
4. Read the fine print. Make sure that all contracts you sign include EVERYTHING in writing. The cost of the work, schedules, payment schedules, guarantees, work to be performed and other expectations should all be described. Look for empty seats. Scary contractors can fill these out after you sign!
5. Good entrepreneurs show their work. Do not write a contract that requires you to pay for the work before it is ready. This allows fraudsters to take your money and skip the city without doing the job.
For more information on Entrepreneurial Fraud and How to Avoid Becoming a Victim, visit the Entrepreneurial Awareness page on the NICB's website.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of contractor fraud or you have seen contractors and suppliers dig residential areas affected by a disaster, call the NICB at 800. TEL.NICB or fill out their online form.
Content licensed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
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