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BBB issues scam warning following storms

Backyard Fun Zone, 5600 block Alpine Ave. NW
WGVU Photo
Patrick Center
File Photo of storm damage

Consumers should be careful when looking for help in cleaning up following the storms and to beware of scammers, often called “storm chasers”

“Right now, we’re in that midst of assessing that damage, trying to get the clean-up, trying to get back to normal.”

That’s Katie Grevious, Communication Manager with the Better Business Bureau in Western Michigan. She says be careful if you’re looking for help in cleaning up following the storms and to beware of scammers, often called “storm chasers.”

“While there are good intentioned people and companies heading to storm areas offering, they’re help. We need to be wary of companies that purposely look for these types of disasters, the ones that come out of state or don’t have license, there are companies that are they’re looking for that quick fix, that quick buck, and they do shoddy work or they don’t do the work at all.”

Grevious says the BBB has a few tips to keep in mind if you are in need of home repairs. To start, she says check your insurance policy first: see what’s covered and what’s not and if you need to work with certain companies before you give anyone any money.

“And then, no matter what… whether they come to your door, you find them online or social media do a quick internet search, make sure the company’s legitimate, and if it requires a license to do the work, make sure they are licensed.”

Tree clean-up and the like Grevious says does not require a license, but the state does require a license for work involving Siding, roof and cement work.

Grevious also advises to get work in writing and understand any contracts before signing.

You can find this and much more information on their website, STORM HQ on BBB.org.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.
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