Home repair scams are all too common and can be financially devastating for homeowners. These scams often involve contractors or individuals claiming to offer repair or renovation services, but ultimately delivering shoddy work or failing to complete the job altogether. In some cases, these scams may even involve fraudulent activity, such as stealing money or personal information from homeowners.

It’s important for homeowners to be aware of the telltale signs of a home repair scam and to take steps to protect themselves from being taken advantage of.

Types of Home Repair Scam

Storm chaser home repair scam

One common example of a home repair scam is the “storm chaser” scam. This type of scam occurs after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado, when contractors may go door-to-door offering repair services. These contractors may claim to have special expertise in handling storm damage and may even present fake credentials or insurance documents. However, their primary goal is often to extract as much money as possible from homeowners by overcharging for their services or performing subpar work.

Bait and switch home repair scam

Another example of a home repair scam is the “bait and switch” scam. In this type of scam, contractors may offer low estimates for home repair work, but then later present homeowners with a much higher bill once the work has been completed. This may involve adding on additional charges or “hidden fees” that were not initially disclosed. In some cases, contractors may also use subpar materials or shortcuts to complete the work, leading to further problems and requiring additional repairs in the future.

Disappearing contractors

The scammers often use high-pressure tactics to convince homeowners to pay for services in advance, and may even ask for large sums of money up front. Once they have the money, they may disappear or give excuses as to why they can’t start the work.

Telltale Signs and Red Flags of Home Repair Scam

Upfront payment request

There are several telltale signs that homeowners should be aware of when it comes to home repair scams. One red flag is if a contractor demands payment upfront or asks for a large deposit before starting the work. This is a common tactic used by scammers to secure payment before disappearing or providing subpar work. Homeowners should also be wary of contractors who do not provide written estimates or contracts, as this may be a sign that they are not legitimate or that they have something to hide.

Limited time discount

Another warning sign is if a contractor pressures homeowners to make a decision immediately or offers a “limited time” discount. This may be a tactic to rush homeowners into making a decision before they have time to thoroughly research the company or obtain multiple estimates. Homeowners should also be wary of contractors who do not have a physical business address or who do not provide references from previous clients.

Take the following precautions:

  • Obtain multiple estimates from different contractors before making a decision.
  • Research the company or individual offering repair services, including checking their credentials, insurance, and references.
  • Get all estimates and contracts in writing, including a detailed breakdown of the work to be performed and the materials to be used.
  • Never pay the full amount upfront or make a large deposit before the work has been completed.
  • Use caution when dealing with contractors who go door-to-door or who offer services in the wake of a natural disaster.
  • Consider hiring a reputable home inspection company to assess any damage before hiring a contractor.

Our investigations into Common Scams of 2023

Home repair scams can be financially devastating for homeowners, but by being aware of the telltale signs and taking precautions, it is possible to protect oneself from being taken advantage of. It’s important for homeowners to do their research and to be cautious when hiring contractors for home repair work, as the cost of falling victim to a scam can be significant.

Home Repair Scam Blacklist

The following phone numbers, websites, and emails have been reported to us by the consumer. If you feel this information is incorrect, you may submit a request for removal or correction by contacting us using this form.

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Attention: Consumers who have been contacted by scammers could have had their personal information breached. TotalScam!™ highly recommends that consumers whose information has been breached obtain an identity theft protection service immediately.

There are several companies that offer identity theft protection in the US. One of the most inexpensive options we were able to find is the protection offered by LifeLock. You can start your protection here.

Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are not endorsed by LifeLock. TotalScam!™ receives compensation from LifeLock. This helps support our scam prevention efforts.


Fraudulent websites can be easily spotted by looking out for these 5 red flags. Learn about them by visiting the following this link: How to tell if the website is a scam in 5 steps.

Absolutely! Not only you should report the scammers to the FTC and IC3, but you may also want to expose them online. Websites such as SCAMGUARD™ allow victims of fraud to tell their stories and warn the public of fraudulent schemes.

Yes. If scammers are in possession of your personal information, they can use that to steal your identity. For more on this subject, please read: How scams lead to identity theft.

There are various ways in which scammers gain access to your personal information. One such way is by purchasing consumer data on the darknet. When a website is hacked, which happens quite often, hackers steal databases containing personal information and sell that to the highest bidder. This information is then used to steal identities, ruining lives in the process. For more on this subject, follow this link: How scams lead to identity theft.

It depends on the method of payment. For more on this subject, please read: How to recover your money if you’ve been scammed.

Most scam artists reside outside of the US and use threats to exact more money from their victims. Nevertheless, all threats should be taken seriously, especially if scammers have your name and address.

Our investigations into Common Scams of 2023