Giles County Sheriff’s Department issued the following statement on Wednesday:

"Sheriff Helton would like the public to use caution when selecting contractors for private construction jobs. Below are some key factors to consider as red flags.

• You're told that on this job, a contract "won't be necessary."
• You're asked to pay for the entire job "up front" - or pay cash to a salesperson instead of a check or money order to a company.
• You are confronted with scare tactics, intimidation or threats.
• You're told you've been "chosen" as a demonstration project at a special, low price.
• You're told a "special" low price is good only if you sign a contract today.
• The contractor won't give you references - or the references can't be located.
• You can't verify the contractor's business address.

These verbal or written contracts are civil matters, and must meet several additional criteria to become a criminal matter, and deposits or money paid is difficult to recover.

It is key to remember that most contractors stay backed up due to current jobs and a waiting period for an established contractor is not unusual. This could be months to over a year."