Beware sign

Predatory animals are creatures of opportunity. Should the opportunity present itself, they will always choose vulnerable prey over prey that is ready and willing to fight back.

Much like animals, businesses can be predatory when an opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately, natural disasters present the perfect environment for those who engage in predatory business practices. One particular flavor this negative behavior comes in is in the form of roofing contractors.

The Better Business Bureau issued a warning to homeowners suffering roof damage to beware of fraudulent roofing contractors. These conmen would blow into town, following in the wake of a particularly nasty storm. They would assess the damage to a roof and, under the guise of needing to purchase supplies, require the entirety of their fee upfront. The conmen would then skip town, taking their victim’s money with them. With no means of finding these con artists, victims were left to handle the ensuing fallout themselves. This fallout could include a lien being placed upon, or even possibly losing, their home.

“Never pay for a job up front. Never sign anything until you are ready to hire a contractor. Read and get a copy of anything you do sign.” – Steven Abel, president of the Better Business Bureau

Verifying the validity of a business before investing your resources into them is crucial. When dealing with contractors, take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from fraudulent activity: document a full physical address, name, and phone number of the contractor, pay with a credit card or a check made out to the company and not the person, have a written version of any and all oral promises. These are but a few of the cautionary measures the Better Business Bureau provides against contractor con men.

Heed their warning! Protect yourself! Beware!

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