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Severe weather season brings out scammers

Posted at 5:58 PM, May 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 02:11:15-04

A Category 4 hurricane or the more common hail storm attract the same trouble.

In Tracey Keiser’s case, the roofer that knocked her door warned that her roof had likely suffered damage due to a recent hail storm.

Keiser and her neighbors never checked the roofers record for complaints. Now at least 15 residents in her neighborhood are dealing with unfinished work or facing liens against their homes for subcontractor bills left unpaid by the roofer.

Eric Olsen heads Hillsborough County's Consumer Protection Office. Olsen says his office fields complaints post-storm regarding contractor issues with problem repairs on everything from roofs to driveways.

Among the most common post-storm consumer issues:

  • Unlicensed contractors and roofers going door to door
  • Repair and tree services asking for full payment up front
  • Unfinished work and shoddy workmanship

Never pay for the work in full up front.

It takes less than 15 minutes to background a contractor. Simply go to http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/ to look for a license. Check with the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org and the consumer protection offices in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties for a contractor's complaint record before hiring the person who showed up at your front door.