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Here’s how they work:

Someone knocks on your door or calls you. They say they can fix your leaky roof, put in new windows, or install the latest energy-efficient solar panels. They might find you after a flood, windstorm, or other natural disaster. They pressure you to act quickly and might ask you to pay in cash or offer to get you financing.

But here’s what happens next: they run off with your money and never make the repairs. Or they do shoddy repairs that make things worse. Maybe they got you to sign a bad financing agreement that puts your house at risk.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Stop. Check it out. Before making home repairs, ask for recommendations from people you trust and check that the companies have licenses and insurance. Get three written estimates. Don’t start work until you have reviewed and signed a written contract. And don’t pay by cash or wire transfer.

  1. Pass on this information on to a friend. You may see through these scams. But chances are, you know someone who could use a friendly reminder.

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