Home repair / contractor fraud Be an informed consumer. Take the time to call and shop around before making a purchase. Take a friend with you who may offer some perspective to help you make difficult decisions.Carefully read all contracts and purchasing agreements before signing and make certain that all of your requirements have been put in writing.Make sure you understand all contract cancellation and refund terms.As a general rule take control of all of your transactions as a consumer.Do not allow yourself to be pressured into making purchases, signing contracts, or committing funds. These decisions are yours and yours alone.Never let yourself be rushed into a “deal.” This usually means the person is up to no good. Ask for details in writing and time to review them with a trusted friend, advisor or attorney.Obtain several estimates before you have any renovations or work done.As a rule, do not have work done on your home by companies or individuals contacting you and offering deals.Do not pay for work in advance.Check references, telephone numbers and home addresses.Contractors must be licensed by law. Check license numbers.Close the door on pushy solicitors. Know to whom you are talking. Verify a situation with another family member before wiring or sending money.