Better Business Bureau warns storm victims to be cautious of scammers

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Columbus office of the Better Business Bureau is warning victims of the weekend’s storms not to be victimized all over again by crooks.  Unfortunately, after disasters such as the ones Georgians and Alabamians experienced, con-artists are ready to take advantage of those who need home repairs and clean up services.

One warning sign: Be cautious of anyone who urges you to get work done immediately and insists on you signing a lengthy contract.  Remember, temporary repairs are always an option while you research the best options for your permanent repairs.

Though many reputable companies from outside the local area may offer consumers services here, the BBB says keeping with a local company is probably best for home repairs.

“When you use local companies, those companies are going to be around if you have problems in the future. But if you use companies that are from out-of-state that are just coming through, chasing the storm damage, if you were to have a problem in the future, it’s going to be almost impossible to get those companies to come back out,” says Kelvin Collins, Interim President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Columbus.

Collins suggests you let any companies repairing your home apply for necessary city or county permits.  That way, the company, and not the homeowner, is responsible for being sure the repairs are up-to-code.

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