Scams Target Storm Damage Victims

11 Call For Action has learned that crooks are preying on people who are looking for ways to fix the damage Wednesday’s storm caused to cars and roofs.

Hail-Damaged Car Scam:

In the auto repair scam, the perpetrators approach people in parking lots of home improvement stores. They claim to have the equipment to do the work on the spot. Once they’re done buffing out the dents for just $200, they say, the car owner can go to a local body shop for a quick $50 paint job.

Don’t buy it. The body shops say these guys are crooks and don’t work for any of the reputable shops in town.

The crooks are strangers preying on people who are looking for a quick fix. Instead, you should do things the right way. Call the claims department with your insurance company, have the car inspected and only deal with reputable companies.

If you have comprehensive coverage on your insurance, rates shouldn’t go up. Hail damage is considered an act of God, and it is illegal for insurance companies to raise your rates.

You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to learn if the shop has complaints from customers.

Roofing Scams:

Now that severe weather season is here, don’t be surprised if you get a knock on your door from a roofer looking for work. The rip-offs in this category can span a wide range, up to some of the crooks just walking away with a customer’s insurance money.

Before you hire any roofer, contact Pikes Peak Regional Building by phone or online. That agency will be able to answer questions about whether the roofer is licensed and bonded. Don’t work with anyone who isn’t.

You can also call the Better Business Bureau or check its website to find out if the roofer has complaints. If the company does, you’ll also be able to see how they were handled.

Additionally, make sure the contractor gets a permit to do work on your home. You’ll need if you ever decide to sell. A mechanic’s lien release could also help ensure there are no outstanding claims against your property.

Getting several bids from competing roofers is important. And never pay in full until your roof passes inspection. Most won’t ask for payment upfront.

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