Warning Residents Of Construction Scammers

Local Leaders and business owners give tips

Matt Moran
June 20, 2018 - 2:42 pm
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) Erie County Comprtoller Stefan Mychajliw is warning residents of possible construction scammers.

Recently the comptrolller says he has seen Erie County Families become victims of contractors who promise work only to receive the money and never finish the job.

"These predators are out there, the warmer weather is here and they are going to prey on the vunerable and elderly and take their cash," Comptroller Mychajliw said.

Comptroller Mychajliw was joined by Domenic Cortese, President of Cortese Constrction and featured on saturday mornings here at WBEN. Cortese says you have to do thorough research on the contractor you choose. 

"Lot of people buy on price, lot of people buy on promise that job can start tomorrow when the job isn't going to start tomorrow, it's going to start in 10 weeks," Cortese said. "That's the reality of it, don't buy on emotion, buy on the mechanics of doing the homework properly so that you're safe."

Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard also says that these scammers can take adavantage of their clients for identify theft or commiting burglary.

"Jjust be cautious, take some time and do your checking," Sheriff Howard said.

Mychajliw and Cortese both have helpful tips when it comes to deciding a contractor.

  • Ask if they are local resident, if they are not from the area, they could just run off with your money
  • Never pay in cash, alway pay in check or credit card
  • Do not ever give more than 10 percent of the payment before the job begins
  • Ask the contractor for references, follow up with the references, preferably in person.
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