Agencies warn of scams after winter weather

Scammers see an opportunity as people hire contractors to help clean up damage from the storm

Agencies warn of scams after winter weather

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Better Business Bureau and Texas Department of Insurance share tips on how to avoid being scammed following last week’s winter storm.

“Our experience does show that we will have some scam reports come in and we will have some complaints come in against contractors when everything is said and done,” said Monica Horton, president of Better Business Bureau.

The BBB are being proactive in helping consumers avoid scams happening to them.

“We are seeing contractors trying to promote themselves and advertise on Facebook but we haven’t had a situation where a consumer has contacted the BBB just yet,” said Horton.

Gardner Selby, a spokesperson with the Texas Department of Insurance, says their agency also has not heard of storm related scams at this time. The department advises people to keep a record of damages, try to be home when the insurance company inspects the damage, and ask about additional living expenses.

“Let’s say your home was damaged. If you have maybe a broken water pipe or some tree limbs that fell or who knows what other kinds of winter damage. You can contact your insurance company or agent and then file a claim as soon as possible,” said Selby.

The BBB and Texas Department of Insurance say to not pay for a job in advance.

“Some of the smaller contractors may require some payments or something like that but don’t let the money get ahead of the work,” said Horton.

Other tips from the BBB include getting more than one bid, looking at the contractor’s references, and reading the contract carefully.

To find more information from the BBB, click here.

To find more information from the Texas Department of Insurance, click here.

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