DEFINITION of 'Contractor Fraud'

Illegal business practices committed by firms hired to reform, renovate, repair or build residential properties. Contractor fraud is typically carried out by small firms promising quick repairs or upgrades for below market prices. The work is usually substandard, unnecessary or may even cause damage to previously undamaged parts of a home. The victim of contractor fraud is often pressured into paying for the work through threats and intimidation.

BREAKING DOWN 'Contractor Fraud'

Contractor fraud often ends up costing the victim twice because they get taken in by the fraud and then have to pay a legitimate firm again to bring the work up to standard or repair the damage. Organizations like the Better Business Bureau have made it harder for these fraudsters to prey on informed consumers, but some fraudulent contractors continue to target vulnerable groups like the elderly by going door to door.

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