CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) — Even with Tropical Storm Isaias leaving trees and wires damaged across Connecticut, it’s likely scammers will try to seek out victims.
The Better Business Bureau is asking homeowners to be aware of “fly-by-night contractors” trying to take advantage of residential cleanup efforts.
The BBB said homeowners should do research on local companies before choosing one. Officials said it’s also a good idea to check with your insurance company to see what damages they specifically cover. Your insurance company can also recommend trusted contractors in your area.
The BBB said to watch out for door-to-door contractors. If a worker does show up at your door, research the company before hiring them.
“Ask them questions,” Said Luke Frey, BBB spokesperson. “Say, ‘What company are you with? What’s your company’s name?’ And go back in your home and do a little research.”
People are also encouraged to resist high-pressure sales, like getting a “good deal” if you hire them on the spot.
“These scammers prey on your emotions and know that people just want to get out of their homes,” Frey said. “So again, it’s extremely important to kind of take a breath. Don’t always take that verbal agreement. Get something in writing and research any company that approaches you.”
The BBB recommends homeowners follow these tips when trying to hire a contractor:
- For any contractor, verify they have the necessary licenses and insurance to work in your area.
- Watch for price gouging; obtain and compare three estimates to help you decide which price is most fair for the work getting done.
- Do not rely on verbal promises. Instead, get everything in writing on a contract, including warranty information. Don’t feel pressured to sign the contract before you’re ready.
- Never pay in full in advance of a project. Instead, arrange a payment schedule. Make a final payment only when the work is finished.
For more information, go to BBB.org.