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BBB: Beware of ‘storm chasers’

ROCKFORD — With the storm season upon us and homeowners facing possible damage by wind, rain, and hail, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to use caution when selecting contractors to make repairs.

Dennis Horton of the Rockford BBB says less-than-scrupulous individuals, known commonly as “storm chasers,” are often quick to take advantage of people when natural disasters occur. Types of storm-chasing businesses can include roofing contractors, landscapers, siding contractors, tree service companies, window contractors and auto body repair companies.

“Storm chasers and other scam artists are trying to make money off people’s misfortune, Horton said. “If anyone comes to your door offering to begin work on damage, take their information and tell them that you will follow up if you are interested in using them for repairs.”

The BBB offers a host of tips when choosing a contractor. Among them are to make sure a contractor can prove he’s licensed and bonded, resist high-pressure sales tactics and pitches that promise “good deals,” and always pay a company, not an individual. A complete list of tips can be found at

“Everybody wants to get their property fixed and back to normal as quickly as possible,” Horton added. “Ideally, they will make careful decisions and find the best crews to do good work at a fair price.” R.

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