Better Business Bureau warns of storm-related scams

NOW: Better Business Bureau warns of storm-related scams


ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – Folks are busy cleaning up from this week's storm, and in addition to taking down trees and knocking out power, severe weather can bring scammers out of the woodwork too.

Before you go and give a contractor money to clean up damage caused by the storms, the Better Business Bureau wants to remind people to be patient, research, and ask questions to make sure you are choosing the best contractor for the job.

“Don’t fall for that high-pressure sales tactic at the door, even if they offer some amazing deal,” Troy Baker with Better Business Bureau Educational Foundation said.

Storm-related damage scams are highly common, especially after severe weather rolls in. Baker said it is necessary to research the company and make sure they have a valid license to do the job.

Typically, tree companies don’t need a state license, but other repair and roofing companies do. It’s also important to get multiple quotes from companies to compare prices before making a final decision.

“You’ll also get an idea of what the price should be,” Baker said. “If you talk to two or three different companies you’ll start to see a trend, and if you see that one outlier that’s way too expensive or way too inexpensive, you’ll know that something doesn’t line up with them and you may want to go with someone else who’s in that range that everyone else is charging for.”

And once you find a contractor don’t be afraid to ask them for references for previous works that they’ve done.

“Don’t just ask for those references, make sure that you contact those references and ask them things like the quality of the work, how was it to work with them, where they accommodating or hard to work with,” Nichole Thomas, the Communication Director with Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana said. “You can ask those references those things and get an idea of what it's like to work with that company before you actually do business.”

You can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau if the company you hired didn't finish the job. A police report can be filed if you paid someone to do a job, and they never showed up to do it,

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