Scammers appear to be steering clear after last big storm, but still beware


June 12th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Some Iowans who had damage in last week’s severe storms still haven’t had a visit from their insurance adjustor, in part, because so many claims were filed over a wide area. The storms brought winds up to 95-miles an hour, heavy rain, large hail and flash flooding. Jim Hegerty, with the Better Business Bureau, says on a positive note, there are very few reports of repair scammers trying to dupe Iowans. “Fortunately, this time, it hasn’t been too bad,” Hegerty says. “I think because the storm skirted the metro and hit a less populated area, I’m not sure that it’s attracting the storm chasers.”

Parts of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area were pelted with baseball-sized hail, but the heavier wind and flood damage came in several rural counties in both eastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa. Hegerty says people who had damage to their homes, farmsteads and businesses still need to be on the lookout for con artists.  “We’ve been issuing warnings pretty consistently since last week that you should really be careful,” Hegerty says. “Take a breath, take your time, make the emergency repairs that you need to make and then be really thoughtful about your repair process. Get a few estimates. Make sure you check out the contractors with the bureau.”

He says get everything in writing, never pay up front and avoid contractors who knock on your door and say they want to work for cash.

(Radio Iowa)