Have you been the victim of construction fraud?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2019 | construction law, Firm News |

The vast majority of contractors are honest, hardworking folks who want to provide quality builds and renovations to their clients. However, just as there are bad apples in all industries, North Carolina also has its share of shady operators looking to take advantage of homeowners.

Fraud can first appear during the bidding process if a bidder puts their thumb on the scale in their favor. Below are some ways in which fraudulent contractors can dupe their clients into paying more than they should for what they receive.

Theft of time

Time is money on a construction job, as it is elsewhere. If workers have colleagues clocking them in earlier than they arrive or after they have left the jobsite, time theft has occurred. Horsing around on the clock or otherwise avoiding work tasks is another costly way to steal time on the job.

Use of construction cameras to record workers entering and exiting the jobsite as well as while carrying out their duties can deter time theft on the job.

Fake injuries and negligence

A worker who twists an ankle while out dancing the night before might attempt to attribute their limp to a workplace injury. Here, too, cameras could prove their worth if they capture the worker limping on his way into the jobsite.

False billings for materials or services

If a homeowner orders a certain grade or quality material, an unscrupulous contractor could make a far cheaper substitution of a poorer quality material and pocket the monetary difference. Another scenario is if material for one jobsite winds up being used on another project.

Use of cameras and comparing the delivered materials with their bills of lading may prevent material theft on job sites.

False representation

This type of fraud happens when clients receive something other than what they have paid. A contractor may have flouted local regulations leaving you facing fines or under orders to demolish an improperly built property. Maybe they bill you for skilled labor when they are hiring undocumented laborers and paying them off the books.

It can be helpful to have a Winston-Salem construction law attorney review your case to determine how best to proceed.