Storms bring in scammers | Better Business Bureau

A windstorm blew through Western Washington and the Oregon coast this weekend knocking out power to some residents and leaving behind a trail of damage.

While the storm may have passed, now is the time for scammers to blow in as storm season approaches. Better Business Bureau serving the Northwest is warning homeowners to use caution when hiring help to rebuild and repair after the storm.

Before hiring anyone to make repairs, consumers are urged to:

  • Research a contractor online at bbb.org. BBB Accredited contractors are properly licensed, bonded and insured.
  • Ask the contractor for references. Read reviews to see what past customers have to say about their experiences.
  • Get a contract in writing. Be sure to take note of the company’s name, address and phone numbers.
  • Never pay full prices upfront. Instead, pay for half at the beginning of the job and the other half after repairs are completed satisfactorily.
  • Don’t fall victim to high-pressure tactics. Be sure to ask for a business card and follow-up later, if necessary.

Storm victims should be suspicious of vague or hesitant answers. They should not accept work from companies that don’t offer contracts. For a list of trustworthy contractors and storm-repair specialists, visit the BBB Accredited Business Directory.

Anyone that has fallen victim to these or other scams are encouraged to report their experience to Better Business Bureau at 206-431-2222 or at bbb.org/scamtracker.