It’s that time of the year for treats, so we want to focus on how certain ‘tricks’, like contractor fraud, don’t reap many rewards in the end.
To avoid, and spot, these SST tricksters, let’s give a brief on what Contractor Fraud is, key examples, and why it does more harm than good for everyone.
What Is Contractor Fraud?
Contractor fraud, according to Investopedia, encompasses a range of issues, from shoddy work, false certifications, and using substandard materials to escalating project costs and over-billing.
Incidents of contractor fraud can happen on a commercial and residential level. In Florida, the State Attorney’s Office has activated a Hurricane Ian Response Team (HIRT) to investigate claims of fraud after several residents became victims of contractor fraud following last week’s hurricane. Last month, the owner of a Fairbanks, Alaska, commercial flooring company pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to provide kickbacks related to contracts for commercial flooring services at a U.S. Army Facility. And earlier this year, New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang completed an investigation of a construction worker found using a fake OSHA card on a major state infrastructure project in Manhattan. This has led to the arrest of two individuals who allegedly engaged in a widespread scheme to distribute fake identification documents.
Skip the Tricks: What To Do
Committing frauds as an employee, such as utilizing fake SST cards, risks you being removed from the jobsite, and the incident may be recorded in future job bids. Contractor fraud can also cost the firm and the clients even more if instead of your direct superior to report to, an OSHA representative discovers you during work or worse, after a reported incident.
So let’s not skip the line to proper SST certifications. If you or your workers get approached on the jobsite with an offer for a SST card, beware.
DOB-Approved SST providers, us included, DO NOT solicit card services outside of our training facilities. We do not accept or conduct transactions via CashApp, Venmo, or payment platforms with individual accounts.
Times are changing, certification recordkeeping has caught up with technology today. You can buy a fraudulent card, but you can’t buy onto the Training Connect platform that’s in place to keep every worker’s SST information current.
What does that mean? As soon as the fake card is scanned by your manager or competent person to compare it to the data they have on file, as verification is no longer just based on visual review of the SST card, the gig is up.
Let’s all do our part in learning how to keep the jobsite safe.