Better Business Bureau Serving Central Indiana Warns Hoosiers: Beware of Storm Chasers

November 20, 2013

*If you are interested in an interview with BBB President and CEO Tim Maniscalo, please contact Tiffany Whisner at 317-571-0051 or

Indianapolis, Ind. (November 20, 2013/Coles Marketing Communications) – The Better Business Bureau serving Central Indiana is warning local residents affected by the recent storms to beware of storm chasers and out-of-town contractors soliciting business. The aftermath of a crisis brings out contractors who take advantage of those who have already been victimized.

The BBB warns that storm chasers may falsely create or hijack a local identity in order to appear to be a central Indiana business.

“Unfortunately illegitimate storm chasers follow natural disasters like this and prey on consumers wanting to have their homes repaired,” said Tim Maniscalo, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central Indiana. “Be an informed consumer by checking to make certain a contractor has the proper licensure and try to get 3-4 quotes. Don’t fall for offers to make quick fixes or big promises as storm chasers won’t deliver”

Consumers affected by the recent storms are strongly urged to use the BBB’s free services and find local businesses by visiting

The BBB offers the following tips for storm victims:

  • When approached by a contractor, ask for proof of licensing and bonding.
  • Get several quotes, and insist payments be made to the company, not an individual.
  • Do not pay for the job in advance. Be wary of any contractor who demands full or half payment upfront.
  • Do not hire people who show up at your door offering services such as tree or debris removal and roof repair.
  • Resist high-pressure sales tactics, such as the “good deal” you’ll get only if you hire the contractor on the spot.
  • Check out the company first with the BBB, and deal only with reputable contractors.
  • Get a written contract that specifies the price, the work to be done and a time frame.
  • Prices are often high in the immediate aftermath of a storm. Be careful of price gouging.
  • Pay by credit card, if possible; you may have additional protection if there’s a problem.
  • Check that the contractor’s vehicle has signs or marketing on it with the business name and phone number.

To check the reliability of a company, visit, and to find trustworthy businesses, visit

About Better Business Bureau
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities. Contact BBB serving Central Indiana at 866-indybbb or visit