NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - With tornado survivors still cleaning up and looking for help, News 4 shows you what you need to know to spot a shady contractor.

Before you sign a contract, the Tennessee Department of Commerce says it’s vital that you do your homework and know the signs of a shady contractor or storm scammer.

Kevin Walters with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance said if a deal sounds too good to be true, that could be a sure indicator.

“If that person is promising more than it seems like they’re going to be able to deliver, you’re dealing with a scammer,” Walters said. “If you’re dealing with someone who shows up at your doorstep and they claim to be a government agency, or an insurance adjuster or a law enforcement official, and they want to charge you for their services to help you, you’re dealing with a scammer.”

Walters said no government agency would charge you to complete paperwork or get assistance. Another red flag is if someone shows up at your home, going door-to-door wanting upfront fees in cash, gift cards, or discounts.

Walters said there are signs where you can tell if a contractor is legitimate.

“Let’s hope that everybody’s in the business in a situation like this. But if you’re dealing with someone who is on the up and up. Typically they’re going to provide the terms of their work on paper. They’re actually going to give you the contract,” Walters said. "They’re going to give you a paper trail about what they’re going to do. They’re going to set milestones about milestones about the work they’re going to complete. You’re going to know who’s going to be doing the work."

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