Home improvement scams cost Americans more than $600,000 in 2017

Published: Apr. 1, 2018 at 11:32 PM MDT
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Spring is a common time of year for people to improve or add on to their homes. The Better Business Bureau said it’s also a common time for home improvement scams.

Nationwide the BBB said there were nearly 350 home improvement scams reported to them in 2017. The total financial loss from those was over $600,000.

In Idaho and Wyoming there were more than 2,700 searches for contractors. The BBB said that’s good, because they encourage people to research people they hire.

The organization suggests people check contractor’s licenses, ask for references and get multiple estimates. They say that goes for home-owners and contractors hiring subcontractors.

The BBB also suggests getting agreements in writing, especially if you are paying upfront.

"When you're paying upfront it's always best to get things in writing. If you're giving money you need to get something in writing or a contract so that you know what the agreement is, there is a written agreement,” said Jeremy Johnson, the marketplace manager with the Eastern Idaho BBB.

They also point at some red flags like if a contractor said you don’t need a permit. BBB also urges people be wary of door-to-door contractors. If one comes to you they suggest taking the card and researching the company.