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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

February 17, 2014
5 Ways to Avoid Post-Disaster Scam Artists

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Five ways you can avoid becoming a victim of a scam in the wake of a disaster.


If you suffer home damage in a natural disaster, don't be duped by fraudulent repair workers. These so-called "Storm Chasers" take the money and run or make shoddy repairs that insurance probably won't cover.

One common scam is where supposed workers scare people into thinking their home is dangerously unsafe, sometimes actually creating damage during their "inspection."

The Better Business Bureau offers tips to avoid being victimized:

  • Ask your insurance company for approved contractors.
  • Never hire on the spot - get estimates and check references.
  • Require written contracts that detail materials, dates and labor.
  • Read the the fine print for hidden cancellation fees.
  • Obtain proof of current insurance.

Bottom line: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be extra cautious in the wake of a disaster.

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