Victims Of Colorado Wildfires Are Wary Of Being Victims Of Scammers
DENVER (CBS4) – In the wake of record wildfires in Colorado, homeowners who lost everything are anxious to put their lives back to together again. Now they have to be on the lookout for scam artists.
“You think it’s just a matter of time before they’re knocking on doors? Or showing up in neighborhoods?” 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks asked Denver Better Business Bureau (BBB) President Dale Mingilton,
“I think they’re probably showing up now. We just haven’t heard because it’s still too early, people are just getting back in their homes now,” Mingilton replied.
Homes in the High Park and Waldo Canyon fire areas will need to be completely rebuild. Other homes across Colorado will need to be restored. It’s overwhelming for families still in shock from losing everything they owned.
The BBB recommends you be suspicious of contractors that show up unexpectedly with a strong sales pitch.
“We can get this done sooner than anyone else. We can do it at a lower cost than anyone else. We’re certified. We’re trained. We can do it better than anyone else,” Mingilton explains some of the common sales pitches used by scammers.
It may take some time to find and line up the right contractor, so the BBB says that you shouldn’t be in a hurry.
“Unfortunately, they’ll keep pushing and pushing and pushing and saying that if you don’t do it we’re going to book up for another 6 months,” Mingilton explained.
Instead, the BBB suggests you stick with good consumer practices for anytime you’re hiring someone to work on your home:
— Get 3 bids.
— Check to see the company has property licensing.
— Verify the company has liability insurance.
— Read the contract.
“You want to look at experience, time on the job, background, and whether or not they know how to run a business,” Mingilton said.
The Better Business Bureau Web site is also a great resource for researching contractors and finding high rated ones in your area. Your insurance company may have a preferred list of contractors, but really it’s up to the consumer to pick a company they feel comfortable with and that will do the job they want done.
RELATED: More Reports By 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks
– Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith