Avoiding Storm Damage Scammers

Local News

ODESSA, TX (Big 2/Fox 24)- After the winter storm last week many Texans are searching for home repairs. With an abundance of contractors coming from outside Texas to assist with home repairs, we checked in with Heather Massey from the Better Business Bureau to see how to avoid scams.

“The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners is giving provisional licenses to those coming in from other states to offer their services.” Massey says. “Governor Abbott also issued a statement announcing waivers to allow plumbers with currently expired licenses to assist with weather-related plumbing issues.” Because of this some storm-chasers take advantage of homeowners by asking for money up front and not completing work.

Massey’s first tip is to consult your insurance company. “You want to check your insurance policy to see what’s covered and any specific filing requirements. Your insurance company may also have recommended contractors.” She says these contractors will not be scammers. Secondly, don’t sign over insurance checks to contractors. “Don’t sign any documents that give the contractor rights to your insurance claims. Get an invoice from the contractor and pay them directly.”

She says looking for the trustworthy professionals for the job is key. Her best advice is to get everything in writing. get it in writing. “Written contracts should include all pricing and the scope of work done during the project. You should also request written receipts for any payments made,” says Massey. She says to avoid hiring anyone that uses high-pressure sales tactics, such as “today only” offers, or demands full payment upfront.

The Better Business Bureau also has more resources for those looking for home repairs. They also have a list of business profiles and recommended professionals. For more visit their website, bbb.org.

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