LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — A Lakewood homeowner is left to clean up a mess left by a contractor who hasn’t returned to finish the job.

She paid him through a popular payment app and said the contractor has not responded to calls over the past week and closed his app account.

“I’m kicking myself. I wish I would’ve done more due diligence because now we’re worse off than we were,” she said.

Tech security consultant Donald McLaughlin of the CP Cyber security firm told the Problem Solvers payment apps are most safely used for smaller transactions.

“When you are doing transactions with individuals you have to think of that wallet as cash – would you give that individual cash?” he said.

Venmo now offers users protection but it’s for eligible purchases only.

“A lot of these apps have authorized merchants and so if the merchant is authorized then the digital wallet or app is more flexible with disputing claims,” McLaughlin said.

Consumer experts say it’s best to choose a business that accepts checks or credit cards so you’ll be able to file a dispute if things go wrong.