As Hurricane Sandy continues to make its way north, it leaves behind power outages, downed trees, and lots of property damage. And one thing is absolutely certain: As soon as the rains stop, the “storm chasers” come out in full force. Some are legitimate businesses truly trying to help, but some are scam artists out to make a quick buck off vulnerable storm victims. Some common “after-disaster” scams involve auto, home and yard repairs or clean-up.
BBB is urging those who have experienced storm damage to take certain precautions when cleaning up and making repair decisions. We have some post-hurricane tips for home owners and business owners who are suffering auto and property damage in the wake of Hurricane Sandy:
- Check with your insurance company first to find out what is covered by your policy.
- Stay calm and don’t make rash decisions. Make temporary repairs if necessary.
- Shop around, get estimates, check out www.bbb.org for ratings on tens of thousands of contractors and repair professionals.
- Be wary of door-to-door workers who claim to have left-over materials from a nearby job or who do not have a permanent place of business.
- Get everything in writing, scrutinize the fine print, and ask questions.
- Never pay in full in advance, and do not pay in cash.
Disaster victims should never feel forced to make a hasty decision or to choose an unknown contractor. For more tips you can trust and for a list of BBB Accredited Businesses in your area, visit www.bbb.org.