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Beware of storm repair scams

Background before you hire
Posted at 4:57 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 22:05:48-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - We've had some dangerous storms the past few days. But homeowners can face new dangers as they go through their clean-up.

Your rush to repair the damage is a real opportunity for shady operators to rip you off.

Storms really hurt some neighborhoods----then they created opportunities to hurt homeowners again by bringing in people who say they want to help, but they really want to help themselves to your money and run off without doing the work.

Strong storms ripped up roofs and tore down trees. The winds barely stopped blowing before people flooded the damaged neighborhoods offering to solve homeowners problems for a fee.

Jill Bernardo says a lot of them looked like they'd take her money and run.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: “Did some people come by offering to do the work that you just kind of had a bad feeling about hiring them?”

Jill Bernardo: “Absolutely.”

Smith: “Why?”

Jill Bernardo: “Because I don't believe that they were legit. I mean, I don't think that they were real people who really wanted to do jobs.”

She says her husband did some research and found Raul's Landscaping. She feels like they've done great work on the big job of removing what's left of a very big tree in her front yard.

At the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona, Pam Crim says you can't let the rush of trying to fix damage before it gets worse, push you into skipping the background checks that assure honest work..

"When something seems so urgent, it's even more important to be diligent. And that's what our experience says. So, you know, go through and look them up, go to bbb.org, Look at their reviews, look at if there's been any complaints, Check the Arizona Corporation Commission site, make sure that they're licensed, get multiple quotes.

She says you can usually make proper checks fairly fast, and don't forget to get the deal in writing, avoid anyone who demands full payment up front and get a receipt when you have paid so no one can claim you did not pay for the work.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has also been warning about rip off artists ready to take advantage of storm victims. You can see advice from the Attorney General at this link and read advice from the BBB here.