Metro Center Construction Storm Damage

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Better Business Bureau is reminding people to be cautious in the days following severe weather, as home improvement and cleanup scams tend to increase. 

This comes after the most recent storm system moved across the Mid-State and areas of Kentucky. The scammers typically call themselves "Storm Chasers" and the scams usually start with a knock at the door, an ad on social media or a flyer. 

The BBB describes these "Storm Chasers" as handymen who go from town to town while chasing severe weather and looking to pick up work. The handymen usually are not reliable and tend to scam people. 

The BBB says entering the company's name or individuals' names into a search engine can be very helpful in validating the company and service. 

Check your insurance. Talk with your insurance agent to find out about your coverage and filing requirements. Make sure to save copies of your receipts.

Get quotes in writing. Try to get at least 3-4 quotes in writing. Be wary of any quote that seems unusually low or high compared to the others. You can go to BBB.org, where you can request multiple quotes on a job quickly.

Resist high-pressure sales tactics. Don't feel pressured to hire someone on the spot. Allow yourself time to do your research before you sign a contract.

Check for licensure. Check with your local and state ordinances to see what's required in your area and look for trade association memberships. Know that all BBB accredited businesses have their required licenses before they are certified so that we can save you this step.

Beware of accepted payment methods. Watch out for businesses that only want cash. Always pay by a credit card or check whenever possible.

Be especially careful of door-to-door contractors. Many municipalities require a solicitation permit if salespeople go door-to-door. Ask for identification. Check their vehicle for a business name, phone number, and license plates for your state or province.

Don't sign over insurance checks to contractors. Get an invoice from the contractor and pay them directly (preferably with a credit card, which offers additional fraud protection over other forms of payment). Don't sign any documents that give the contractor any rights to your insurance claims. If you have questions, contact your insurance company or agent.

Ask BBB. Click HERE or call 615.242.4222 to find out a company's BBB Business Profile. This information includes the BBB rating, contact information, verified customer reviews, and more.

 Get a copy of the contract. Make sure to get a copy of your contract. Read over it carefully and ask questions on anything you do not understand. The contract should detail all the work, costs, pay schedule, and projected completion date. The contract should also state who will obtain the proper permits.

Get a copy of the contract. Make sure to get a copy of your contract. Read over it carefully and ask questions on anything you do not understand. The contract should detail all the work, costs, pay schedule, and projected completion date. The contract should also state who will obtain the proper permits.

Don't pay the full amount upfront. If a company demands full payment upfront, stay away.

For more tips visit BBB.org and if you are visited by a storm chaser report it to BBB.org/scamtracker

 

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A New York City native and a graduate of the Mizzou School of Journalism, Ethan joined the WSMV Digital Team in June 2019. Send him story ideas, food recommendations and sports topics to Ethan.Illers@wsmv.com and follow him on Twiiter @EthanIllers_TV!

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