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Beware of Scammers During the Aftermath of Superstorm Sandy

Posted on Nov 29, 2012

Following any hurricane, tornado, or serious storm, there are many people who seek to take advantage of others’ misfortune. These people are known as storm chasers and they work to find ways to prey on victims of natural disasters. Sadly, this is already happening for homeowners and victims of Sandy.

While some homeowners and business owners are still assessing their property damage following Superstorm Sandy, they need to know what to look out for so that they are not taken advantage of during this vulnerable time.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) predicts that most of the scammers will focus on home and yard repairs, storm cleanup, and auto repairs. For this reason, the BBB has released helpful tips:

  • Be suspicious of solicitors. If someone or a team of people show up on your doorstep soliciting services, be skeptical—even if they say they have left-over materials from a nearby job that they could provide at lower prices.
  • Be proactive. If someone is pressuring you into making a quick decision, do not be reactive and sign on the spot. Do your homework and call reputable companies.
  • Seek several quotes. Prior to hiring a company to make repairs following Sandy, make sure you get multiple quotes for work that include a price breakdown for labor and materials. Also, make sure the business has a physical property address and verify licensing. By doing homework on the contractor, you can ensure you are hiring a legitimate company.
  • Don’t pay up front. Never pay in cash or before the work is complete. Residents shouldn’t be asked to pay more than one-third of the repair costs upfront. Additionally, when the work is done, ask the contractor for proof that he has paid all the subcontractors so that you won’t be liable.

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Bill Voss
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