Contractor scams are more likely as winter approaches

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COLUMBIA - Winter is fast approaching and many people are trying to get those last minute outdoor projects done before it gets cold. 

Sean Spence, the regional director of the mid-Missouri Better Business Bureau, said the organization sees an increase in scams this time of year. 

"You see it all the time, especially right before winter, because contractors are more active, someone pays some money for something and they never get the service they paid for," Spence said. 

He said anyone who finds themselves in a scam is try to keep all of the paperwork.

"If you got something on the Internet, print it off, keep a file with everything, every piece of paper so you have as much of a trail as possible,"  he said.

He said most business are trustworthy, but there are always a few that can make the rest of them look bad. 

Spence said the bureau has a lot of reviews for hundreds of contractors throughout mid-Missouri on its website. 

"We provide a single place people can go to find out who the trustworthy businesses are," Spence said. 

Larry Magill, the administrator for Helpers For Hire said that group's website provides assistance to individuals looking to hire someone for service work, specifically around the Lake of the Ozarks area.