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Better Business Bureau is warning people to watch out for "Storm Chaser" Scammers

Power lines knocked down due to storm damage in Danvers, Mass.
Power lines knocked down due to storm damage in Danvers, Mass.

After a line of storms in the area overnight, and another round expected for parts of Michigan tonight, the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan is warning consumers to be cautious when hiring others to assist with repair and cleanup from damages.

Power outages, storm debris, and damage were left behind by last night’s storms. And as communities work to repair the damage, the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan is warning consumers to watch out for scammers or what they call, “storm chasers”. Those who purposefully try to take advantage of people impacted by severe weather.

“This is a great time for a community to come together, and help each other out clean up. But it's also a really great time for scammers to go door-to-door offering clean-up and repair services and instead of actually helping the victims who are already panic, they just take the money and run."

Katie Grevious is the Communications Specialist for the BBB Serving Western Michigan. She says they have a few tips for those who need help “after the storm.” She says to start, you should hire only licensed and insured contractors. She also says you shouldn’t take the first offer, get multiple bids, compare prices, do your research, never pay the full amount upfront and never hire under pressure.

“You should never ever feel pressure to make a decision right away. Usually, if somebody says this is an offer that's available now and today, and you have to make a decision in the next two hours, That's a sign that its a scam, because that is a tactic to get you to make a decision under pressure.”

Grevious says if you suspect a scam, you can contact them at BBB.org/scamtracker.

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