Warning about scammers in storm's aftermath

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

HANOVER COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Scammers are blowing into town, just as fast as those tornadoes did. 81-year-old Tom Wills says he's no fool when it comes to scammers after a storm.

"You have to make sure that you're dealing with people that are responsible, that do what they say they gonna do and charge you what they say they gonna charge you," said Wills.

His is one of the worst hit homes in Hanover County - and since early morning Wills got several knocks on the door.

"I had so many people coming in wanting to clean it up that finally I got my buddy's dad's business to do it for me," he said.

Going with a trusted contractor is what the Hanover County Sheriff's Office advises. It also recommends that you check references, get all agreements in writing, and avoid paying large sums in advance.

"You want to make sure you get a good accredited company. You want to have insurance. You want to have somebody refer you that you trust, it's things like that you want to look at," said Medek Tree Service worker, Michael Farmer.

Both Hanover authorities and Farmer agree - if a bid sounds too good to be true it probably is. Unfortunately, the Better Business Bureau always sees a spike in calls after a storm.

"It's important to step back, think about what you're doing. This is a business transaction," said Barbara Homiller of the BBB.

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