Tips on how to avoid home improvement scams, protect yourself from all types of scams and stay #ScamAware
🔨 Are you looking to improve or upgrade your home? Or make your home more energy efficient? Be on the lookout for scams!
We’ve seen a rise in number of people being scammed when booking home improvements this year, with scammers posing as builders or home improvement companies.
Scammers are waiting to try and take advantage of people looking to do home improvements. Whether it’s rogue traders, ‘too good to be true’ deals or phishing emails offering fake government rebates — stay safe with our top tips…
1. Make sure you’re working with a trusted trader or company
Do your research. If you can’t get a personal recommendation from people you know, then check up on the company or website you’re using. Read reviews from different websites, search for the company’s details on Companies House, and take a look at their terms and conditions.
2. Don’t be rushed into a decision
It’s okay to take your time when choosing a company or trader to work with. If someone is pressuring you to make a fast decision or pay money without giving you time to do your research, it’s most likely a scam. Comparing quotes with other companies will help you make sure you’re getting a fair price.
3. Get a contract for the work
Always try to get a contract in writing before you give the go-ahead. Be wary of contractors who won’t put anything in writing — it’s a sign they could be trying to scam you.
4. Pay by card, not cash
Avoid contractors who demand full payment up front, or only accept cash. If you pay by credit or debit card, you may be able to get your money back through the bank if something goes wrong. If possible, agree to pay in stages — agree with the contractor which points in the work payment will be due.
5. If a trader scams you, report it
Reporting scams helps stop the criminals responsible, and protects others from being scammed. Anyone who’s been scammed should:
· Call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133, or on 0808 223 1144 for a Welsh-speaking adviser. We’ll pass on details of the scam to Trading Standards, and can offer further advice
· Report the scam to Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud. They’ll also give them a crime reference number, which can be helpful if you need to tell your bank you’ve been scammed
Other scams you should look out for:
1. Fake text messages and emails, messages claiming to be from their relatives/children, asking to reply on a new number before requesting money.
2. Online shopping scams
3. Used car scams
4. Financial and banking scams
5. Deliveries and parcels
6. Investment (including get-rich-quick schemes, cryptocurrency)
7. Government or civil expenses (such as tax, national insurance, or government support schemes)
👀 It’s important to always keep an eye out for scams. They can and do affect anyone.
Something might be a scam if:
➡️ something seems too good to be true
➡️ Someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly
➡️ You’re being urged to respond or pay quickly
➡️ You’ve been asked to give away personal information
Need more help?
Find out more and stay #ScamAware ⤵️
· Find out how to protect yourself from scams: https://bit.ly/3AM4bYc
· Find a trader you can trust: https://bit.ly/3HwySo5
· More advice on scams: https://bit.ly/3Hwp39p
· You can also head to Friends Against Scams to learn more about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams.