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Avoid storm chaser scams
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11/18/2014 3:27:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Many Gulf Coast customers are finding themselves not only traumatized by the ravages of Storm Isaac last week, but are also facing severe financial strain in the wake of storm damages. Unfortunately, this is a situation that a particularity low form of scammer seeks out. These so-called "storm chasers" unscrupulously pick the pockets of individuals when they are at their most susceptible. And the hurricane season is far from over. Article resource:
Following the storm to make cash
The Association of American Retired Persons was able to talk to a spokesman from the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, James Quiggle. He said:
<blockquote>"They're called storm chasers, going town to town where disaster strikes to descend on traumatized homeowners and causing more problems than they fix. And they often prey on senior citizens."</blockquote>
There are increasingly more of them being seen, according to the National Insurance Crime Agency.
The majority of the scamming contractors will leave without doing work, though some of them actually do the work. The only issue is that they do a terrible job and leave permanent damage that will not be covered by homeowner"s insurance. It is always a bad sign when the contractor asks for money upfront before they complete the task.
Ways to keep away from the scams
-- Ask your insurance agent or the Better Business Agency for a list of approved contractors near you before giving any repair person a green light.
-- The contractor should show you a license first.
-- Contractors with no business card are most likely shady.
-- Deposits should never be more than 25 percent of the total estimated contract, and should not be paid until building materials are delivered to your home.
according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Public Works interim director David Guillory:
<blockquote>"You really shouldn't be paying for work that's not done. If somebody says, 'Pay me half and I'm going to go get some other equipment,' or go get another crew or something, that should send a red flag up."</blockquote>
Scams with automobiles
After a disaster, con artists will go to insurance auctions and purchase as many automobiles as they can for a song. They will then put the automobiles back together with really bad materials and craftsmanship.
The vehicles break down a lot and turn into money pits even though they will run well for a couple of months.
Get from the scam
Before purchasing any used car, whether from a lot, an individual or at an auction, conduct a pre-purchase inspection with a reputable mechanic. It is also wise to get a title history search report through a trusted company such as CARFAX.