Storm-chasing contractors could scam your money

6:40 PM, Oct 31, 2012   |    comments
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Superstorm Sandy did a lot of damage to homes across our area. Now, many people desperate for contractors are at risk of hiring "fly-by night" companies.

"Contractors start going door-to-door, telling you that you have storm damage," says Sue McConnell, with the Better Business Bureau.

These are called "storm chasers" and they're after your insurance money.

"Anybody that just doesn't look professional, anybody that seems to be trying to scare you into something and is really interested in getting you to make a deal right now."

The BBB recommends getting everything in writing, specify what work needs to be done, what materials the contractor would use and get a price breakdown.

Never pay in advance. Pay no more than one-third of the job upfront. The contract should have a pay schedule. And you should also have the contractor prove any sub-contractors used were paid.

"If a subcontractor does not get paid for work they do on your home, they could put a lien on your home."

If you decide on a contractor, make sure you check references, verify the company is licensed and registered with your city's building department.


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