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Community Safety

Beware of Scammers Following Recent Storms

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Emily McTavish
/
KSMU

Attorney General Chris Koster is warning consumers to be alert for possible "storm-chasers" following the heavy rains and flooding across Missouri.  Storm chasers are scammers who follow severe weather and prey on people needing to repair or rebuild their property.  Koster says his office will pursue action against anyone who takes advantage of Missouri consumers in the aftermath of the recent storms. 

He says storm-chasers typically go door-to-door offering to provide repair or clean-up services. They often claim to be recovery experts or contractors specializing in flood repairs.  In reality, Koster says, these storm-chasers provide shoddy or no work after taking up-front payment, and then flee the area, leaving the homeowner with little or no recourse.

Koster offers some tips to avoid becoming the victim of storm-chasers and other scam contractors:

Do not pay for work up-front; beware of any contractor who tries to rush you or who comes to your home to solicit work; seek recommendations from friends, neighbors, co-workers and others who have had work performed on their homes in the past; and, get three written estimates for the work, if possible, and compare bids.

Consumers with questions about a contractor or who wish to file a consumer complaint should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline online or at 800-392-8222.