They’re here! Omaha Police Department Fraud Investigator Rick Bilek says storm chaser scam artists are already hard at work in Nebraska trying to make a buck from victims of Tuesday’s severe thunderstorms.
Bilek says these scammers promise home repairs, roofing, tree removal, painting to dent and glass repair on vehicles. There are red flags to watch out for.
If they are not local investigate their background. Bilek says just because they have a truck with a logo painted on the door or have business cards doesn’t mean they are legit. Watch out for out-of-state license plates. If they knock at your door soliciting work they probably are not on the up-and-up. He says if they pressure you into making a snap decision by saying it is a one day only offer it is a good idea to send them packing.
Another problem with using fly-by-night companies is if the work is complete and there are problems, like a roof that leaks, workers are gone.
Bilek says these scammers are smart and know the difference between criminal law and civil law. He says if you enter into a business agreement with the scammer, give them money but the work is never done, this may not fall into the criminal category in the courts. Victims could be advised to sue in civil court but that can be hit-and-miss – even if scammer can be located and ordered to pay.