Beware of storm clean up scams - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Beware of storm clean up scams

A father and son clean up their yard after the storm A father and son clean up their yard after the storm
Elkhart County -

At the Pine Hills community in Middlebury, storm cleanup is taking awhile. Residents are still without power and water.

"We go to the lake down the road, to Hunter Lake, to get bathroom water," Sonni Proffitt, a resident, said.

While you're getting back to normal, keep in mind some people offering to do the job for you might not have the best intentions.

"They'll start the job and then they say they have to come back and don't come back," Dreama Jensen, the Area Director of the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana said.

Jensen said she remembers one story in particular. An elderly woman pre-paid some scammers with a check. She says they increased the amount and cashed it.

"There was not anything she could do. the money was gone and the people were gone. She was out that and she still had the roof problem," Jensen said.

She says it's important to do your research before agreeing to let a company fix your storm damage. This includes asking for their company name, their telephone number, and looking them up online.

"Do not pay in advance. I don't care what kind of story they give you, when the work is done-that's when you pay them," Jensen said. 

She says she also advises people to speak to their insurance agent first. State Farm's Chris Hembree says insurance companies will often recommend reputable workers. Yesterday, one of his customers took that advice.

"They told me on the phone, 'Well, we can't guarantee any times right now. We are so swamped. We are so far behind.' But, at the same time, I also knew they were somebody I could trust. So they took the claim," Hembree said.

He says you always have to be careful of who you're working with.





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