LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Business and home improvement scams are rising, and many people don’t even realize they’ve been scammed until the damage is done.

So how do you protect yourself?

Here are some tips on what you should look out for before you make any financial commitment.

According to the Better Business Bureau,

  • Be cautious when looking for people to hire online. 
    • It’s easier for people to lie about who they are and their qualifications using social media.
  • Ask for proof of licensing. 
    • If you’re not sure if someone is licensed, you should ask for proof or look up their licensing and certifications on Michigan State’s website, or reach out to the BBB.
  • Get a written contract.
    • You should get a contract in writing even for the simplest task and make sure it’s signed.
  • Down payments over 50% = red flag. 
    • Any down payment amount requested that is more than half of the total price is a red flag.

The BBB wants people to stay away from making payments through cash app or platforms where it is harder to keep track of your money. A credit card is best as you’ll have a better chance of getting that money back.