As storm victims begin cleanup efforts, BBB warns to watch out for storm scams

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) – Lynn Dwight spends a lot of time sitting outside on her back patio in Waukesha. Now his time will be spent cleaning up the mess caused by Sunday night’s thunderstorms.

“It’s quite a mess,” Dwight said. “The gutters are gone. The soffit is gone. The gutters are everywhere.”

Fortunately, Lynn and her family were not injured by the falling debris. Now she is concentrating on repairing her beloved terrace and her house.

“Obviously it’s going to be a big job,” Dwight said. “I don’t know where to start. I wait a bit.”

Dwight says she contacted her insurance company and filed a claim. The next step, she hopes, will be to hire someone to help her repair the damage. She says she is aware that scammers like to try to take advantage of storm victims.

“Huge concern, not just with tree removal, but with basics like the gutter and everything,” Dwight said. “I hope they (the insurance company) will point me in the right direction with a good contractor.”

Lisa Schiller is a senior investigator and media relations specialist at the Better Business Bureau. She says it’s important for people like Lynn to do their research before hiring a contractor.

“It can feel very overwhelming,” Schiller said. “Storm victims should never feel pressured to make a decision on their doorstep or by hiring an unknown contractor. Make temporary repairs, if necessary, so you can take the time to choose a contractor trustworthy and really taking your time making this choice.”

In addition to taking your time, Schiller says it’s important for homeowners to document damage to their home and property and not make any permanent repairs until you get approval from the repair company. ‘insurance.

“You want to make sure your insurance covers you fully, or you know how much money you’ll be reimbursed for repairs you’ve made,” Schiller explained. “Document damage to your property and possibly your automobiles or anything damaged.”

Schiller encourages people to visit the Better Business Bureau’s website to check if a company is accredited and trustworthy.

You can also use the BBB Scam Tracker HERE.

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