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In the aftermath of recent tornado outbreaks, the Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a different kind of storm chaser: scam artists who take advantage of tornado victims.
"It is not uncommon for out-of-town storm chasers to solicit business after storms like the ones we had last week," said Carrie Hurt, CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. "Storm chasers may not have proper licensure for your area, and may offer quick fixes or make big promises to which they won't deliver."
That warning echoes advice by emergency-management officials in states hit hard by tornadoes. "Unfortunately, some folks prey on people when they're weak," a spokeswoman for North Carolina's Division of Emergency Management told The Charlotte Observer.
To fend off tornado-repair scams, the BBB recommends the following tips for homeowners:
And it's not just homeowners who are at risk for tornado-repair scams. Legitimate local contractors may also be approached by scammers who offer money to use a firm's name and phone number, so they can pretend to be a trusted local business, the BBB warns.