The storms that blow through during this time of year can leave downed trees and other damage in their wake. That's when "storm chasers" appear. These scam contractors prey on homeowners by promising repairs, collecting a fee and failing to deliver.
How the ScamWorks:
A major windstorm just blew through your city, knocking a tree onto your roof. The next day, a contractor appears at your door. You are generally suspicious of door-to-door salespeople, but this offer is very tempting. The contractor gives you a great price, and, if you commit now, he can begin work the next day.
The contractor will either want upfront payment or for you to sign a contract allowing the business to negotiate with your homeowners insurance on your behalf. Do this, and your entire insurance check may go to the storm chaser regardless of the quality or quantity of work completed.
After approving the work, several things may happen. Some storm chasers complete the job as described. However, poor craftsmanship and materials mean that you need the roof repaired again a few months later, when the business has moved on to a new storm-damaged region. In more extreme cases, contractors may simply take your payment, completing part or none of the work, and disappear.
Tips to Protect Yourself From "Storm Chaser" Scams:
When a storm hits, follow these tips to ensure that any repairs go smoothly.
For More Information:
To find out more about scams or report one, check out BBB Scam Stopper.