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10 contractor scam warning signs

Protect yourself, your home and your finances after a natural disaster by following these tips for sniffing out storm chasers.

Natural disasters bring out the best and the worst in people. Unfortunately, the chaotic environment they create is a prime setting for illegitimate contractors, sometimes called “storm chasers” or “fly by night” contractors. “This is a vulnerable time for homeowners,” says Rick Lopes, chief of public affairs at the California Contractors State License Board. “Be very careful about giving someone too much power.”

After something so traumatic, it makes sense that a homeowner would want things to return to normal as quickly as possible. But it’s important to take the time to find the right person to do the job properly. Do extra research if something doesn’t feel right. Be aware, and you’ll avoid scams and the contractors who get jobs only when people are desperate.

Here are some key warning signs to look for.

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