Firstly, never be afraid to ask them questions. You might want to include questions regarding the jobs they have done previously, the kind of insurance they have and where they are located, etc. An honest person will not hesitate to provide you with the information you require. However, if they seem too pushy and want you to make an immediate decision about hiring them or if they avoid directly answering your questions, these could be indications that they are not as trustworthy as they should be.
If you are asked to provide a small deposit for the work up front, this is quite normal, but if you are asked for a large amount or even the entire amount for the job, this should sound alarm bells and you may want to reconsider hiring them. As the customer, it is better for you to get them to agree on a fixed price for the job and have this written in a signed contract, this way you will not be subjected to any “unforeseen extras” which can really add up.
When shopping around for a quote either by phone or email, try to get a price for the job before disclosing your location. Some less than honest companies will often quote more money to those who live in wealthier neighborhoods.
Finding someone honest and reliable to work on your home is possible as there are many professional tradespeople out there. These brief suggestions can help you make the right decision.