Don't be a Victim: Storm repair scams - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Don't be a Victim: Storm repair scams

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Many people are now left dealing with the aftermath of Irma and may have to hire someone to help repair the damage done. 

We have some important advice that could help keep you from becoming a victim twice. 

It's unfortunate, but fraud often follows disasters like this. There are always scammers out there trying to get their hands on your money. It usually doesn't take long after weather events like this for scammers to get to work, often offering work with things like tree removal or home repair. Here's some advice from Georgia's Attorney General Chris Carr to help make sure they are legit: 

  • Ask for referrals from friends, neighbors or co-workers
  • Check with Better Business Bureau to see if there have been complaints 
  • Make sure the person or company doing work is licensed. You can verify this on the Secretary of State’s website 
  • Get written bids from several contractors. Don’t let someone pressure you into signing, and remember that cheaper is not always better
  • Insist on a written contract with guarantees, warranties, and promises in writing
  • Ask to see proof of insurance
  • Never pay in full beforehand. A small down payment is okay, but don’t pay for the entire project until the project is completed to your satisfaction
  • Use a credit card if you can. It will give you more protection against fraud
  • You also need to watch for people posing as insurance agents or FEMA representatives. If any “so-called” representative asks you for a payment, it’s a scam.

The Attorney General's Office is also warning people who want to help others during this time. They suggest giving only to charities that you know are reputable. You can also research charities by clicking here

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