WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The summer heat is nearly unbearable, and that A/C is oh so important in keeping us comfortable. But when it goes out, the homeowner is put in dire straits.

The search for someone to fix an A/C unit can go awry in any number of ways, and Monica Horton with the Better Business Bureau said there is one way contractor scammers will usually go for a quick buck.

“Paying a contractor in advance and then taking the money is pretty much number one when it comes to contractor scams that we see here,” Horton said.

There are ways to avoid getting scammed, though. Horton said it’s important to be informed when choosing a contractor, and asking for insurance is a good way to see who’s reputable and who isn’t.

“You want to make sure they have the proper contractor’s liability insurance in place to cover situations if something goes wrong,” Horton said. “And then we also want consumers to ask for references.”

Although scammers can be active at any time of year meaning staying vigilant during the entirety of the search is imperative, Horton said the summer is a prime season for scammers.

“They will take advantage of a situation where maybe the air conditioning contractors are backed up right now, so you have to wait a few days. You want your air conditioning fixed probably the minute that it goes out with the heat,” Horton said.

After doing all the research and hopefully picking the right contractor for the job, there is still one major red flag consumers need to watch out for.

“Do not completely pay for a job until you’re satisfied with it because that payment is really your only recourse,” Horton said.

Hopefully, these tips help keep wallets safe from scammers when needing maintenance at any time of year.