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Watch out for these contractor scams used on seniors

Medical science now lets people live longer than at any point in recent history. This means that a large segment of the population is now over the age of 65. In fact, the average age in this country continues to rise as baby boomers become grandparents and great grandparents.

The fact that people are living longer also seems to give unscrupulous contractors a larger pool of victims. You may admire your elderly parent for maintaining his or her independence, but your parent is also vulnerable to scams perpetrated by people who would take advantage of them.

What types of scams do contractors use?

Maintaining a home on a tight budget means your parent often looks for ways to cut costs where possible. Whether your parent was ever able to take care of maintenance and repairs on the home or not, now, physical limitations may make it difficult to do so.

Your mother or father must now rely on others to get things done, and that often means reaching out to contractors who may not have the moral compass you would like. As you do what you can to help your parent, you need to help him or her look out for the following scams:

  • Legitimate contractors will not go door-to-door looking for work. Those who do will usually take your parent's money and not complete, or even start, the work promised.
  • Some contractors will scare your parent into paying for costly and often unneeded repairs after offering to provide him or her with a free inspection of the home.
  • A contractor may tell your parent that a large down payment is needed in order to begin work. This money is supposedly needed to cover labor and material costs.
  • Other contractors will demand that your parent pay cash for repairs. Some will even drive your parent to the bank in order to withdraw the funds with which the contractor will then abscond.
  • Some contractors will demand that your parent make an immediate decision regarding whether to have the work done. This denies your parent the right to check up on the contractor and get other bids.
  • Legitimate contractors will likely enter into a written contract with your parent for the work. A contractor that claims this is an unnecessary step is probably not above board.

If your parent falls victim to any of the above scams, it could mean thousands of dollars in losses. It may be possible to pursue compensation for those losses. To increase the likelihood of the best outcome possible to the situation, you may want to consult with a Texas attorney with experience and compassion.

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