Scam artists target storm victims
High winds, lightning, hail, and storm damage can leave a laundry list of needed repairs.
If you're not careful, some devious scam artists can really take you to the cleaners.
When severe weather hits the region so-called "storm chasers" will often go door-to-door.
Police say they will use high-pressure tactics to try to secure repair jobs.
"The best advice we can give is to get several bids from other individuals that do that type of work," said Kristi Mitchell, TAPD spokesperson.
Police say scam artists will target a neighborhood right after a storm.
That's why they say before any work is done to check references and never pay up front.
Mitchell says residents should also make sure the contractor has pulled a permit from the city.
"The city will check to ensure that they have their Arkansas contractors license which is required by the state of Arkansas for any repair over $2000," said Paul Hackleman, Public Works Director.
Contractors must get a city permit regardless of the cost.
He says storm victims should also get a copy of the contractor's insurance.
"If they don't have all the things they need to run a business and protect you from damages they may do, it's just a red flag that they may not be the contractor for you," said Hackleman.
For more information about “storm chasers” or other consumer-related issues, visit the consumer protection division website at www.gotyourbackarkansas.org or call (800) 482-8982.
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