PASADENA, Texas – Not even a week has passed since an EF3 tornado ripped through the Pasadena area before scammers make their way into the area and target residents, according to the Pasadena Police Department.
As many displaced residents are in dire need of home repairments, police are warning many to not fall victim to greedy contractors.
The police department posted on its Facebook account that some contractors are already attempting to prey on tornado victims, especially the most vulnerable, who are usually the elderly residents.
Police said if you have any elderly family members who were impacted by the storm to please check on them and help them navigate through these difficult times.
Anyone who has received calls, text messages, emails, knocks at your door, or any other form of solicitation from a contractor, is being asked to verify their information and do not feel obligated to select them as your contractor.
Here are a few more tips when searching for a contractor, per police:
- Get everything in writing. Cost, work to be done, time schedules, guarantees, payment schedules, and other expectations should be detailed.
- Get more than one estimate.
- Demand references and verify them.
- Ask to see the contractor’s driver’s license and write down the license number and their vehicle’s license plate number.
- Never sign a contract with blanks; unacceptable terms can be added later.
- Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is finished, and ensure reconstruction is up to the current code.
- Make sure you review and understand all documents sent to your insurance carrier.
- Never let a contractor pressure you into hiring them.
- Never let a contractor interpret the insurance policy language.
- Never let a contractor discourage you from contacting your insurance company.