7 Most Common Contractor Scams in the Philippines and How to Avoid Them

No matter the field you are in, there will be those who are corrupted by the system. As the Filipinos say “kinain na ng sistema”. These are those who would do anything to scam off from their clients.

The construction industry has a lot of scammers. Mainly because construction projects are high-value most of the time. Good thing, Engineer Slater Young released a video that educates his audience about the most common scams and how to avoid them.


The ghost

These contractors usually offer a low price to entice clients to choose them over other contractors. When they are finally chosen, they will ask for a high downpayment and then vanish like a ghost.

How to avoid:

  • Say “no” to large downpayments.
  • Ask for a company profile.
  • Have a site visit on their past sites to make sure they are legit.

Mr. Collect-Ka-Dyan

These kinds of contractors are accustomed to just collecting money from their clients. The unsuspecting client just gives money without realizing how much they are already wasting.

How to avoid:

  • Understand “progress billing” where you only pay for what is already done.
  • Always demand to have a 10% retainer fee that you will give them once the project is complete.

The two-timer

This kind of scam is usually executed by 2 or more contractors. If the scammer contractor knows who else is placing their bid on your project, they will often call other contractors and brew a plan with them causing you to pay more.

How to avoid:

  • Keep everything private

Mr. Forgetful

These scammers usually use the reason that they “forget” to add things to the quotation and would ask informally for the client to add to the budget.

How to avoid:

  • When reviewing quotations and estimates, make sure to check side by side and line by line.
  • Weigh the pros and cons and compare


Sometimes, professionals like engineers, architects, and other specifiers are corrupted by the system that they ask for kick-backs that the client pay on top of what is on the contract. What’s worse is that they don’t ask them from the client directly. Instead, they ask from the suppliers.

How to avoid:

  • Be wary when a product is being pushed and forced on you.

Blind item

When a client is not too specific and nitpicky on-site, some contractors would get materials and drop them off on other projects, or on scrap yards so they can sell them. The client is unaware that the materials being brought to their site is not complete anymore.

How to avoid:

  • Have an engineer on-site to check the materials.
  • Be nitpicky about where your money is going.


Anything that is made up of metal is often stolen because they are easy to sell to a scrapyard. Corrupt contractors will do everything they can to make you believe that they are doing it the right way when in reality, the vertical rebars are just pushed upwards, or the bars themselves are thinner than what is specified.

How to avoid:

  • Get a trustworthy contractor
  • Be doubtful if the price is too low.

That’s all the tips that Slater has in order to avoid getting scammed by these common scammers in the contractor field. When you start building your dream house, be wary of these scammers’ plots and of course, hire the right professionals.

Watch his video below:

Share this

One Response

  1. Dad December 30, 2022 Send a Reply

Give a Comment