ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- As thousands of people clean up after Tropical Storm Debby, storm chasers, or people who are looking to prey on those affected by the storm, are working to clean out your wallet.
Debby may be gone, but the cleanup is just beginning. Thousands across the Bay area are dealing with everything from flooding to damaged roofs to broken windows.
With all this work to do, there are people hoping to profit.
"There are unscrupulous and incompetent people that chase that storm, we call them storm chasers, that look to take your money and leave you with shoddy work," says John Zajack with the Better Business Bureau of West Florida.
Zajacktalked with us about hiring a contractor you can trust. He says don't hire someone who knocks on your door offering services. Do your research and call someone to come out to your home.
"Step back, take your time, and look into who that person is. You want to see if they're licensed here locally in Florida, and locally established, rather than someone traveling the country trying to do work for you."
Once you find someone to do the work, there's still work for you to do.
"Check their references, go to the BBB website and find out how many complaints this company has had and whether they are BBB accredited or not, and get three estimates, compare them and see what's best for you," says Zajack, who adds to make sure there is a contract involved for the work you want done.Read it over carefully and never sign anything that you don't understand. Also, get a second set of eyes to look it over.
He also says to be suspicious if the contractor tries to get you to pay for the entire job up front. You may never see the work done if you do.
"These storm chasers create problems throughout the country scamming people out of their hard-earned money."
We have all of the information from the Better Business Bureau of West Florida here:http://www.bbb.org/