New Mexico State Attorney General Hector Balderas is warning of landscaping and construction contractors who promise to do work and take people’s money for doing so, but then never complete the job.

One landscaper contractor, for example, is the target of four recent complaints with the Attorney General’s office, from people who say the company collected a total of more than $10,000 before its owner disappeared, leaving behind nothing more than a disconnected phone number.

Balderas is emphasizing to potential customers not to pay up front for work that hasn’t been completed. He also highlighted the importance of doing research on the contractor ahead of time.

Anyone has the ability to verify if a contractor is licensed by contacting their state’s Construction Industries Division. They also have the ability to see if the contractor has a history of customer complaints by contacting the Better Business Bureau.