Avoiding scams after storms sweep through

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

"If there is anything you can do to prevent further damage without causing any harm to yourself, then go ahead and do that," said Shelter Insurance Agent, Mark Webb.

Stormy skies have passed and now Region 8 residents battered by mother nature are starting to clean up.

"Contact your agent, let them know what's going on and they can pretty much guide you on what you need to do next," said Webb.

Insurance agent Mark Webb says that's the first thing those who sustained property damage need to do.  He says take photos to document the damage as well.

"If there's anybody doing any kind of work for you during the clean up process, you want to make sure you keep receipts, just keep any kind of documentation you may have," said Webb.

"In the wake of any disaster we usually see scams," said Jonesboro Police Sergeant, Steve McDaniel.  Sgt. McDaniel says there are things people can do to help avoid becoming a victim.

"If they are a legitimate contractor and they are just out door to door looking for business, which sometimes happens, then they'll have legitimate references and they'll be able to back up the work that they do," said McDaniel.

McDaniel adds to make sure you check those references, don't just take the list.  He says ask for and get a written contract, and don't pay a large sum of money up front.  He says a legitimate company will usually work with a client.

"Make sure you're not giving somebody too much money for work they haven't yet performed," said Webb.

Experts says there will be people trying to take advantage of those desperate to get things cleaned up, but simple steps can help keep a bad situation from getting worse.

"You just want to try and avoid those at all costs," said Webb.

©2010 KAIT

 all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.