Scam Alert: “storm chasers” on the hunt

The Better Business Bureau has a warning- beware of “storm chasers.”

Business booms after severe weather for companies like All Major Restorations, LLC.

While the Quad Cities didn’t see anything nearly as bad as the damage out in Oklahoma, thunderstorms left their mark on homes and businesses.

“Most of the western side and northern Davenport was affected, there was hail in Bettendorf, even in Moline and Rock Island area we saw up to an inch of hail,” said Mike Smutz, the owner.

Companies like AM pride themselves on being zero dollars down.

“Any contractor who isn’t, there’s the red flag there that they could take the money up front and you’ll never see them again,” said Smutz.

The Better Business Bureau says “storm chasers” typically target areas affected by severe weather.

Repair work on roofs and siding are some of their offerings.

But, they also offer up a hard sell.

“If they’re for full payment or partial payment, and they’re asking for it up front, or they’re asking for- we’re going to give you a special deal, but you have to hire us today so we can begin the work today,” said Pat Englander, the Director of the Quad Cities BBB.

Legitimate companies will be listed on the bureau’s website as accredited.

You can also ask for references or pay by credit card, which typically offers you a little more protection.

You should also check to see if the business is registered with the state.

“Ask the sales rep to show their driver’s license. You’ll be able to know right away where they’re from- are they from Oklahoma, Texas or are from the QC, working in this area.”

For more information, go to www.iowa.bbb.org

In Illinois, go to http://heartofillinois.bbb.org/

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