ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - As Alaska heads into construction season, the Better Business Bureau is warning homeowners to be on the lookout for home-improvement scams.
Last year the organization received 350 reports of fraudulent contractors in Alaska, however it’s an issue that’s probably underreported.
“I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said BBB regional manager Michelle Tabler. “A lot of people don’t know to report to our scam tracker. People can report to FTC.gov, they can report to AARP. There’s other reporting agencies.”
Tabler says the more common scams seen in Alaska are from fraudulent contractors going door-to-door offering to pave driveways or install alarm systems at a reduced rate. Here are some tips from BBB on how to avoid falling victim to these scams.
- Do your research: Make sure the business is licensed and accredited. You can check their rating on BBB’s website.
- Make sure they have a permit for the work they are doing as well
- Ask for references: Search for reviews online or ask your neighbors if they’ve had any dealings with this business.
- Get multiple estimates on the cost of a project to make sure you’re being charged a fair amount.
- Avoid contractors that ask you to pay the full amount up front. It’s not unusual to have to pay a small deposit up front, but not the full amount. Scammers will often take the money and not return