Better Business Bureau warns consumers that in the aftermath of Hurricane Nicole, watch out for storm chasers and/or impostors looking to take advantage of people.
Scammers use phone, text, email, mail and will even go door-to-door targeting Floridians affected by the storm. No government agencies will call unsolicited or text you asking for financial account information and there will never be a fee required to apply for aid thru government disaster assistance agencies. If a government agency contacts you and ask for money or your personal information, hang up and report it to BBB Scam Tracker, it’s an Imposter.
Hurricane victims should never feel pressured to make a hasty decision or choose an unknown contractor. Make temporary repairs if necessary so you can take the time to choose a trustworthy contractor.
BBB’s Florida Hurricane Guide is a one-stop resource page to provide Hurricane help for Floridians. Within this hurricane guide, you will find guidance on disaster preparedness, recovery and repair, and how to avoid scams post-hurricane.
Get references. Get referrals from friends and relatives and check BBB.org for ratings and reviews on contractors in the area.
Do your research. Local and national companies may both do a fine job with your storm damage repair needs, but if you choose to do business with someone who is not local, be sure to understand who will be taking care of any service needs that may arise after the completion of the project.
Learn about storm chasers. Storm chasers are businesses that follow storms in hope of a quick buck. Research anyone who offers you unsolicited assistance carefully.
Look for the BBB Accredited Business Seal and Hire a Licensed Professional. Any repair work performed on a home or a business should be completed by a licensed professional, always verify a contractor’s license by visiting www.myfloridalicense.org or calling (850) 487-1395 and look for the BBB Accredited Business Seal to know those contractors are licensed, vetted and approved by BBB Standards of Trust.
Report Scams to BBB Scam Tracker. BBB.org/ScamTracker is a free Interactive tool for consumers to report scams and fraud while warning others of malicious or suspicious activity.