Crooked contractors preying on storm victims

The Better Business Bureau says scammers are looking for storm victims to take advantage of as repair work gets underway across Texas.

SAN ANTONIO - Crooks are looking to clean out the wallets of those cleaning up after Hurricane Harvey.

As quickly as the storm blew through so did the scammers who are looking to take advantage of people who need help rebuilding.

"Some folks are just flying down there, renting a vehicle, and slapping on a sticker on the side of their car with their business name," said Miguel Segura with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB says that it can be tough figuring out who's legit and who's looking to take your money and run. General contractors, roofers and foundation repair specialists don't require a license to work in Texas. But Texas does require electricians and air condition repair companies to have a license.

You can search for violations a person may have received through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation website.

"There are a lot of folks who put a utility belt around their waist with a hammer and want to take an upfront payment from you," Segura explained.

But before you give anyone money, take some time to do your homework.

"Make sure you have a written outline of everything that's going to be charged, what the costs imply, and the warranties and guarantees that they're offering for how long and how they're going to fix that," Segura advised.

Some companies require a down payment, but how much that down payment is can vary.

"It is normal for these contractors to ask for some down payment for materials, to hire some sub-contractors, but if they're asking for 50 percent of the project, especially for a big scale project, that should be an immediate red flag," Segura said.

Once you're ready to pay, do so with a credit card. Disputing a charge is easier when payment is on credit. Experts say, before you make a final payment, make sure you're completely satisfied with the work.

© 2017 KENS-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment