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How to avoid contractor scams when rebuilding after storm damage

In April there were 384 preliminary tornado reports, according to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center.
Oklahoma Tornado Damage 4-28-24
Posted at 4:47 PM, May 28, 2024

Tornadoes have already caused a lot of damage this season, from Texas to Iowa to Tennessee.

The Better Business Bureau says this can be an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of homeowners. However, there are ways to avoid contractor scams when rebuilding.

“If a storm passes through and you look out and there's significant damage to your house, it's important to keep in mind a few things. Number one, there’s a good chance that a contractor is going to knock on your door sometime in the very near future and offer to fix the damage for you,” said Dale Dixon, the chief innovation officer for the Better Business Bureau Great West + Pacific.

The BBB says it’s important to be especially cautious of out-of-town contractors, especially those going door to door.

When hiring a contractor, you’ll want to check their reputation through the BBB directory, through your neighbors, or by doing a Google search.

“It’s important that people not pay up front 100% of the bill in situations like this,” Dixon said.

“The other thing we encourage people to recognize and be careful of is not to sign over checks from the insurance company,” he added.

The BBB also recommends resisting high-pressure sales.

“Emotion runs high, and we as human beings just don’t think as clearly in the midst of an emergency, and that's why having a plan in place before the emergency helps make decisions easier,” Dixon said.

After hiring a contractor, make sure they pull permits correctly.

Tornadoes and damaging storms have hit the central United States hard the past few weeks. In April there were 384 preliminary tornado reports, according to data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center.

Experts say these tips can be used for any type of repair, including for hail and fire damage, for example.

A man looks at a damaged car in front of destroyed buildings after a tornado hit the day before

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