BBB Offers Checklist to Help Avoid Home Contractor Fraud in the Event of Storm Damage

February 11, 2013

Better Business Bureau (BBB) urges consumers to consider the following tips when hiring a contractor to help avoid home contractor scams.

  • Beware of door-to-door salesmen making unsolicited contacts.
  • Get straight answers to your questions.
  • Be wary if the contractor won't accept a check or wants the check made out to him instead of his company.
  • Deal with local businesses rather than those who come through town.
  • Don't be pushed into quick decisions.
  • Ask for references - not from his favorites, but from his last three customers.
  • Verify licences and insurance coverage directly with the agencies; don't take copies at face value.
  • Contact BBB to check on the company's reliability and complaint history.
  • Get everything in writing and read it carefully; never sign contracts with blank spaces.
  • Check funding sources rather than just accepting financing arrangements offered by the contractor.
  • Don't pay too much up-front (usually not more than 1/3) and never pay the entire balance until the job is completed satisfactorly.

 BBB Mississippi cautions, spurious contractors will prey on the victims of storm related damages. They operate door-to-door offering home repair services. Since it is often easy for them to provide quick and easy on-the-spot services, homeowners often make decisions without checking out the company before agreeing to proposals.

Consumers are urged to check the reliability of businesses with BBB serving Mississippi online at or by calling 800-987-8280.