Post-Disaster Scams: What to watch for

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PARIS, TX -- After a natural disaster residents looking for quick repairs often become the target of scams.

The Paris Police Department is warning citizens of Paris to be on the look out for unlicensed contractors and workers who might offer tree trimming services or repairs.

"Wanting to the money before they do the job, saying they need the money to get the equipment, that's a key aspect to look for," said Officer Curtis Graham.

And not all of the scammers are from outside the area.

"The locals are just as bad as the out-of-towners." said Graham. "They'll come up and offer you a discounted price, check with the neighbors and see what they are charging your neighbors and make sure they are not trying to charge you more for less work."

Licensed contractors around town all have the same recommendation.

"The main thing would be to not pay anybody upfront," said Alternative Roofing Solutions Owner Bobby Thompson.

"Don't give them half of the money and think they are going to come back," said Red River Landscaping Owner Ross Moore.

Make sure to do research on the company or worker, many should have insurance and a reference list.

"I think that a reference list is very important," said Thompson. "Having proper insurance. General liability insurance is a certainly a big deal in case of any further damage to the property."

"Pick a reputable contractor that's insured and if something doesn't sound right, it's probably not right," said Moore.

Police also remind people that clean up does not have to be rushed.

"Power has been mostly restored throughout the city, so there is no rush to get the limbs out of your yard," said Graham.

You want to also try to pay by check or credit card and make sure you do not pay for the work, until you are satisfied.

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