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BBB warns storm victims to beware of contractor scammers

CBS News Live
CBS News Texas Live

NORTH TEXAS — Saturday's storms caused extensive damage to numerous houses across North Texas. The Better Business Bureau wants to remind homeowners to be cautious when hiring a contractor to make repairs to their property. 

After speaking with the insurance company to find out what is covered, what the deductible will be and how to file a claim, research before hiring anyone.

The BBB says to start by checking if the company is registered and licensed. 

Ask friends and family for references, or your insurance provider, and finally check reviews on

If a contractor comes to the door, ask for an ID and a solicitation permit, if your city requires it. Look at their vehicle for a business name, phone number, and a Texas license plate. 

Storm chasers, those who prey on storm victims, promise a "special deal" for hiring them right away.  Don't allow anyone to force a decision without checking them out first.

If a contractor offers to waive the deductible, double-check with your insurance provider to ensure it was signed off on. It is illegal for a contractor to do so without permission from the insurance company. Do not sign anything that gives the contractor rights to the insurance claims.

When it comes time to pay, get an invoice and pay them directly, ideally with a credit card for fraud protection. Also, pay for the work in installments, and don't make the final payment until the work is done and has been inspected.

More tips to avoid:

• Scare tactics
• Requirements for unusually large down payments
• Verbal agreements
• No contract required
• No insurance
• Extremely low bids
• No permanent place of business 

Visit for more information or reach out to your local BBB.  

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