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Prosecutors and consumer advocates say there are a number of steps you can take to help insure you or a loved one don’t become the next victim of a worker you invite into your home.

They say it’s important that everyone who enters your home is vetted, including the subcontractors. Homeowners can make it a requirement of their general contractor that he or she run criminal background checks of every subcontractor who does work on your home.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Brent Kirvel advises homeowners to check social media websites, municipalities and small claims court for any complaints that might have been made against a contractor or subcontractor you’re thinking of hiring.

If the contractor has an LLC, Kirvel says check with the Ohio Secretary of State to see if the LLC has been up and running for prior work.

Kirvel urges homeowners to check with title companies to see if they offer escrow services for home remodeling.

“It sets up a regimented set of payments, goals that have to be met before payments are disbursed,” Kirvel said.

Reputable contractors recommend hiring someone you know or go with a referral from a trustworthy source.