BBB warns of scammers in storm aftermath
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - BBB serving Greater Kentucky and South Central Indiana warns of storm-chasing scammers in the aftermath of the storms that struck Kentucky and Indiana late last week.
With any destructive and severe weather, there is an increased potential of out-of-town storm chasers looking to take advantage of victims as they begin the process of cleaning up and repairing property damage. BBB warns Kentucky and Indiana residents affected by the storms to beware of these scammers.
BBB offers the following tips for storm victims:
- Know your rights and responsibilities as provided by the state Attorney General. Kentucky residents can contact the Kentucky Attorney General’s office at ag.ky.gov or call 502.696.5300.
- Businesses must be licensed. Contact the Revenue Commission at 502.574.4860 to check out a company’s licensure.
- Many municipalities require a solicitation permit if salespeople go door-to-door. Verify that they need to have a permit by contacting your local Township or Municipality or call Permits & Licensing at 502.574.3321
- While most roofing contractors abide by the law, be careful allowing someone you do not know to inspect your roof. An unethical contractor may actually create damage to get work.
- Try to get at least 3-4 quotes from contractors, and insist that payments be made to the company, not an individual.
- Do not pay for the job in advance. Be wary of any contractor who demands full or half payment upfront.
- Resist high-pressure sales tactics, such as the “good deal” you’ll get only if you hire the contractor on the spot.
- Get a written contract that specifies the price, the work to be done, the amount of liability insurance coverage maintained by the contractor, and a time frame. Require a copy of their current certificate of insurance.
- For general questions or complaints related to insurance, contact your state’s Department of Insurance. Kentucky residents can visit insurance.ky.gov or call 502.564.3630.
- Pay by credit card, if possible; you may have additional protection if there’s a problem.
- If you suspect a company may be price gouging necessary goods or services due to the area storm damage, report the business to BBB and the Attorney General’s office.
- Beware of FEMA imposters. In the past, scammers have impersonated FEMA to try to scam consumers. Remember that FEMA does not charge for inspections, and they always wear ID badges. If you are still unsure, check with FEMA first at fema.gov or call 202.646.2500.
BBB is also warning area contractors to beware of storm chasers who are willing to pay local construction companies substantial amounts of money to use a local business’s established name, reputation, and phone so they can masquerade as a local business.
Many contractors who agreed to let these storm chasers use their name regret their decision once they were left holding the bag of unsatisfied customers due to bad workmanship and/or unfulfilled warranties.
Finally, as many area homes are still without power, BBB advises consumers to be wary of any scam callers masquerading as gas and electric company employees.
LG&E and KU will never call consumers and demand payment immediately over the phone in order to restore power (or prevent it from being shut off).
For any concerns regarding utilities, contact your provider directly.
Do not give your financial information over the phone to any unsolicited caller.
Copyright 2023 WBKO. All rights reserved.