PHOENIX - Monsoon 2017 is here and it's only a matter of time before strong winds, heavy rain and a wall of dust blast the Valley. Summer storms have the potential to do a lot of damage to people's homes and flood the Valley with businesses that will try to rip you off.
"A lot of scammers come out because they know there's a lot of damage to houses," said financial advisor Jim Dew.
The first thing you should do when approached by a potential scammer is to ask for references, he said.
"Scammers don't like to give references, so ask for them," Dew said. "Call them and research the references."
A legitimate company should be happy to get you in touch with previous customers.
Second tip from Dew is to make sure the contractor is licensed and bonded and check if there are any complaints against that contractor. This is easy to do with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and the Better Business Bureau.
Lastly, don't pay in cash-- especially if the company wants all of the money up-front. Many ask for half of the cost up front and half when the project is finished.
Never give the final payment until everything is complete, he said.
"A lot of times the contractor will say, 'Oh, I'm done. There's a couple little touch-ups. Pay me off. I'll be back tomorrow,'" Dew said. "Then people spend weeks or even months to get the workers to come back and complete it. If you owe them money and they want that money, they're going to come back and make you a priority."
This way your home will get fixed and upgraded and you won't get ripped off.