Washington Couny residents who suffered storm damage need to be aware of potential scams

Tuesday, April 22nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Many people in Washington County are still trying to recover from severe weather over the weekend.

As they clean up from the tornado, homeowners need to be aware of scam artists who might try to clean them out. News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says scam artists can turn a natural disaster into a financial disaster if you're not careful.

Over the weekend, tornadoes damaged about 40 homes in Washington County. The extent of that damage varied, from a few shingles torn off, to entire roofs missing, to whole houses blown away. Whatever the damage, experts say you should be careful who you hire to help you re-build. The Better Business Bureau's web site says you should check with your insurance company about your policy, know any specific filing requirements they might have.

Even though you're anxious to get things back to normal. A contractor I talked to Tuesday says take your time when hiring someone. He says not doing your homework can turn you into a victim. Richard Fredrick of Fredrick Construction Company: "When they're rebuilding your home, it’s just like any other major purchase. Its something that you don't want to make an emotional decision about, and you don’t want to rush into."

Tornado clean up can be time consuming and expensive, but experts say be wary of someone promising you a good deal.