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Severe weather season in underway, and scam artists may be on their way to say they'll repair your home or vehicle at rock bottom prices.
"It's to the advantage of the homeowner as much as to the advantage of the insurance company to make sure that the company that's going to do the repairs is legitimate," said Larry Lightfoot of the Brazos Valley's Better Business Bureau.
So if your roof or car needs repairs and workers come knocking on your door, how can you pick out the conmen?
"The first clue is if the Better Business Bureau doesn't have a report, and they won't tell you where they're from," said Lightfoot.
First, make sure you get a written estimate itemized with all the materials being used, services provided, and time it would take to complete the job.
Then, ask how to get in touch with them and get another estimate. Most insurance companies require it anyway.
Also, be wary of the information they give you. If their card has a phone number but no address, or if there's not a company name, just an individual's, it might be a sign of a scam.
Finally, ask for references, past customers that can vouch for the work.
Many of these scam artists are transient.
"And then they leave and you think everything's fine," said Lightfoot. "But then your paint starts coming off because of the type of repair job they did. And they're gone. They're at somebody else's hail storm then."
So when storms strike first, don't let grifters strike last.
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