Hurricane Sandy was expected to create a lot of damage as the storm ripped through the east coast. Just prior to the storm, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning about repair contractors that may not have your best interests at heart.
In the Oct. 26 release the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns the public not to "let disaster strike twice" as many contractors may go door-to-door trying to drum up some work. Some will be legit, others may only be opportunists looking to exploit the disaster; a group of individuals the BBB calls "storm chasers".
"Storm chasers, door-to-door home repair salesmen and water damage companies often peddle dubious deals that can cost homeowners thousands of dollars and create serious headaches," the organization said. "Storm chasers" are individuals that try and get work, but they end up ripping consumers off by either not delivering on the services they promise to offer, or asking for payment upfront and then disappearing."
Many of the scammers are reportedly centered around auto, cleanup, and home/yard repairs.
BBB offers several recommendations to consumers to consider before hiring any contractor that appears on your doorstep. These include checking qualifications, avoiding impulse buys, carefully reviewing contracts, and never paying money up front in full, to name a few. Here is the full list of recommendations.
Additionally, BBB suggests checking out its Accredited Business Locator to see what complaints, if any, have been lodged and/or resolved.
Unfortunately, in the wake of any disaster, it is not unusual for scammers to seek profit in the aftermath. Along with other types of scams, repair schemes can and do occur.