Contractor Fraud: Three Red Flags Associated with Scam Artists

by Tyler Bohlman


It is really unfortunate that there are some people out there who are only in it for themselves. These people go around to homes and pretend to be legitimate home contractors when in reality they are just selfish con artists; it’s because of these types of people that we created

However, our website notwithstanding there are some things that these selfish con artist type people who are posing as contractors do that can alert you to the fact that they are actually con artists. It’s not a guarantee that a contractor who does some of these things is a con artist, but here are three quick and easy red flags that you should be looking out for that might tell you that the person you are dealing with is a scam artist:

  1. Requesting that YOU obtain things:  It is not your job to buy anything. Whether it is materials (unless you’re really picky…then you can buy them) or building permits, you shouldn’t be required to pay any extra money that isn’t just paying your contractor straight up. The permits are something that your contractor should always provide, and materials should be built into the cost of the project. If you want to be picky and provide your own materials (paint seems to be a big one with this) you are more than welcome to.
  2. Pressuring you to make a decision:  Contractors want to make money, I understand that, and obviously a contractor is going to want your business, so I am not talking about regular good old fashioned salesmanship.  What I am talking about is a contractor who is pressuring you to make a decision RIGHT NOW. This is not something that any contractor should do.  Another tactic they do to try and get you to buy RIGHT NOW is that they will offer one-time discounts if you sign up that day. Tactics like this may work at a clothing store to get a store credit card, but not with things like contractors.  A contractor should try and sell you himself and his business like a professional.
  3. Solicits door-to-door:  This should be a no brainer. When was the last time you bought anything from a door to door salesman that wasn’t some Thin Mints? This is especially true for any home improvement.  And while it still does happen, having a door to door contractor probably means that they don’t have a real office to work out of, and probably don’t have legitimate ways to get your business. Watch out for “contractors” who do this.  Make sure that you always get names, addresses, and phone numbers before you buy from them. If possible, try and wait a day or so in order to follow up on the names and numbers he gave you in order to make sure that you are dealing with a real business.

There are lots of things that you need to take into consideration when you are figuring out who you should hire as your contractor. I want to stress again that I am not calling out every contractor who might use some of these tactics to get their business; all I am doing is telling my audience that there are strategies that the con artists use and these three are some of the most common ones. At the end of the day all I want to do is inform everyone of these strategies and make sure they are protecting themselves.


Tyler Bohlman is the Director of Communications for, which offers escrow services to consumers for home improvement project. Read more of his articles at