Contractor Fraud: Don’t be Bullied into Unnecessary Home Repairs

by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE


Home contractor Dominik Sadowski had his employees damage more than 100 homes in Lehigh County, Pa. so the homeowners would unknowingly make false hail claims that steered lucrative business to his firm. Sadowski received four years of federal probation Tuesday and must repay $14,500. Precision Builders scavenged neighborhoods in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Precision told homeowners they could get new siding and roofing for free because insurers would pay for hail damage. Precision employees allegedly used screwdrivers and other instruments to create illusory hail damage. Workers faked inspections and then told homeowners that storms had damaged their homes. One Precision employee jammed a small screwdriver covered with tape into a home’s siding to mimic hail damage. … Continue Reading

Pay Attention to your Payments!!

by Tyler Bohlman

contractor handshake

I want to make sure that when you guys are dealing with a contractor on your home improvement project you are getting the best deal you can and are treated fairly, and this is not only making sure that the cost of your project is reasonable, but that the way you pay is reasonable too.

This story, in a Q and A format, highlights some of these issues.  I think the main thing to take away from this article (aside from the answer, which is a good one) is that you need to make sure how the payments you are making is working when it comes to your contractor and any subcontractors that he might be hiring.

You will probably only have to pay your contractor for the work being done by everyone, the pay for the contractor and his subcontractors will be built into the price (just like in the story above) but it’s how you pay for … Continue Reading

Newsday Tuesday: Video News Story With Some Good Advice

by Tyler Bohlman


While internet surfing I came across this news story about a bad contractor experience in Pennsylvania. The news story is really well done and at the end of it does a good overview on what you should do when hiring a contractor (but these are all things you know already right?). I won’t give it away but there is a key phrase that the man who was scammed says that should be a key red flag for everyone watching. … Continue Reading

Contractor Fraud: Roofing – The Hail Damage that Never Was

by RB Roberts

Roof Repair

This is really a pretty interesting story.

Recently, a homeowner (Julie) reportedly accepted a door-to-door contractor’s (Harold) observation that her roof suffered “hail damage.” Further, he gave her the impression that the damage was bad enough to warrant the release of insurance monies for repairs. … Continue Reading

Contractor Fraud: The Two “SOWs” to Remember

by Tyler Bohlman

contractor handshake

One of the most overlooked ways to prevent headaches when dealing with your contractor after your home improvement project is started is to have an ironclad contract at the beginning, and to include the two most important things that you need to have in your contract: The two SOWs.

Scope of Work: This is, by far, the most important thing to have in your contract. … Continue Reading

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Beware Disaster Related Fraud and Scams

The Boston and Texas tragedies remind us that when disaster strikes, we are not always prepared to deal with the magnitude of the chaotic wake that follows such events in our communities … Continue Reading

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Fake Scanner Emails Infect Office Computers

Scammers are taking advantage of the standard emails sent by most office scanners. They have replicated the messages of famous printer brands but attach malware to the emails instead of documents.

How the Scam Works:

You are at work, and you receive a message from what you think is your office printer/scanner. It appears that someone sent you a copy of a scanned document. The name doesn’t ring a bell, but you open the attachment anyway.

When you click on the file, you find that it isn’t a scanned copy of the latest office report. It’s really a link to a third-party website that will download a virus to your computer. These viruses phish for personal and banking information on your machine. … Continue Reading

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Unknown Credit Card Charges: Fraud or Legit?

Recently, my mother-in-law discovered that a pretty significant piece of jewelry had gone missing. There had been a number of construction workers in the house for a few weeks and when she went to get her jewelry, it was gone. After searching like a crazy person under/in/on top of everything, she called the police.

When the police arrived they asked a bunch of questions, did an onsite investigation and calmly and collectively stated to her: “You misplaced it. It probably hasn’t been stolen. You will find it in a few days.” … Continue Reading

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