• Webmaster Elisha

Know the signs of possible “storm chaser” scammers

Better Business Bureau® serving Central and Eastern Kentucky is urging home and business owners who suffered property damage and flooding issues from this weekend’s severe storms to research what companies they hire to help rebuild and repair damage.

“BBB is ready to help the public determine what businesses they can trust,” said Heather Clary, BBB Director of Communications.

The public is urged to check with the BBB on any contractor they are considering using at www.bbb.org, or calling (859) 259-1008 or 1-800-866-6668. Even if your insurance company will pay the cost, you want to make sure that the business that does the work is reputable, competent, and able to address warranty issues if they arise long after the out-of-towners have left.

BBB also has free listings by industry of local BBB Accredited Businesses who meet the BBB’s ethical standards and have committed to BBB dispute resolution processes. Consumers may access these lists on the BBB website or call to request lists be mailed or faxed.

• Get the company’s complete name, address and phone number. Be skeptical of any vague answers, or no offers of contracts or anything information writing. Beware of high pressure - reputable companies will let you check them out first.

• Check out businesses with the Better Business Bureau by logging on to www.bbb.org. Get a list of BBB Accredited Businesses in the category you need on the website or by calling 1-800-866-6668. If a business says they are BBB Accredited, verify it with the BBB first.

• Verify that the company has liability and worker’s comp insurance, as well as licensing if required. If a contractor cannot provide proof of it, reconsider.

• If paying costs yourself, get several estimates. Remember, businesses can charge whatever price they like. Get a written contract and warranty for work to be done. This helps protect the consumer and the business.

• If it’s an out-of-town or out-of-state company, ask how any warranty issues or problems will be addressed long after work is done and the company is gone.

• Never pay the entire amount of the job up front.

• Do not let strangers in your home to “evaluate” damage. Legitimate businesses will survey damage with your insurance adjuster to determine coverage. Contact BBB with any reports of scams so that others can be warned! Consumers may report scams to BBB Scam Tracker at www.bbb.org/scamtracker.

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