BBB Warns Flood Victims Not To Fall Victim To Scams

BBB Warns Flood Victims Not To Fall Victim To Scams

ST. LOUIS, MO/May 8, 2017 (STL.News) As clean up efforts begin from the historic flooding in the St. Louis-area, scam artists are likely to surface.

That’s the message from the Better Business Bureau of St. Louis, which reminds consumers to check out companies before signing on the dotted line and forking over any money. It’s advised to research companies with the BBB to make sure you’re not dealing with a fly by night operation.

“Contractors are working on repairing damage from storms and flash flooding, so demand for waterproofing and remediation contractors will be strong,” said Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO.

It’s recommended to get at least three bids on a service before making a decision. “People want to make decision quickly, but it’s very prudent not to do it quickly. You need to do your homework, said Chris Thetford, Vice-President, Communications and Marketing at BBB of St. Louis.

You should never pay in full in advance of the work. “You want to pay about a third at the time you sign a contract, another third halfway through the work, and then the remaining third when the job is completed,” said Thetford.

Other tips recommended by the BBB include:

  • Ask about the company’s insurance. Does it carry worker’s compensation, property damage and liability insurance? Ask for proof of insurance or for the name of an insurance agent you can call to verify the coverage.
  • Ask whether the contractor is licensed for the type of work you need. Does the firm meet the bonding requirements of your town, county or state?
  • Check with local authorities to find out whether permits are needed. The contractor should be aware of any permits or inspections that may be required.
  • Ask the contractor to provide a lien waiver when the job is completed. A lien waiver is a statement that all suppliers and contractors have been paid for materials and labor. 
  • Ask for a contract and read it. Get any verbal promises in writing. Make sure the contract includes the start date and expected completion date.
  • Consumers may find out more information about a company, including BBB Business Profiles, at or by calling 314-645-3300.