5 tips to avoid scams after the snow storm

    7:12 PM, Jan 2, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The damage caused by natural disasters such as floods and tornadoes can often bring out the best in people, as strangers reach out to help others in need.

    Unfortunately, the aftermath of a crisis also brings out persons who take advantage of those who have already been victimized. Some of the most common "after-disasters" scams involve home repairs, clean-up efforts, heating and cooling equipment, and flood-damaged cars.

    The Better Business Bureau has the following advice for consumers:

    •Check with your insurance company about policy coverage and specific filing requirements the company may have.

    •Although you may be anxious to get things back to normal, avoid acting in haste. Don't be pressured into signing contracts. Make temporary repairs if necessary.

    •For major permanent repairs, take time to shop around for contractors, get competitive bids, check out references, and get a report from the BBB at www.bbb.org

    •Be wary of door-to-door workers who claim your home is unsafe. If you are concerned about possible structural damage in your home, have an engineer, architect, or county official inspect it.

    •Prepare a written agreement with anyone you hire. It should delineate the work to be done, the materials to be used, and the price breakdown for both labor and materials. Review it carefully before signing. Never pay for all repairs in advance, and don't pay cash.

    If you have any questions or would like to view other post disaster relief tips, please visit our website at www.bbb.org or call 501-664-4888

    (Source: Better Business Bureau of Arkansas)

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