Don't get scammed - how to avoid post-storm problems

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Thousands of people will return to their homes in and around the Houston area and find water damage.

There will also be lots of people who come to the very same areas with one goal: ripping people off.

There are some red flags to look out for when looking for people to repair your home:

• Be wary of people who show up and solicit work, especially if they're from out of town.
• Take your time getting quotes from more than one contractor. And do your homework on each before choosing them. Contractors should have a history of work they can tell you about.

Check this site to make sure the people you're working with have the proper licenses and insurance requirements. A/C repair, code enforcement, electricians, mold assessors and remediators and some service contract providers are licensed. Even if the work you need isn't licensed, check them out on the BBB.
• Get everything, and we mean everything, in writing. Leave nothing to chance. Get a contract that will hold up in court if the worst happens. And don't rush. If someone is pressuring you into getting on board, take a step back.
• Call us cynical, but scammers will fake credentials, licenses, and references. Do as much homework and digging as you can to make sure the company is worth its word.
• Never pay up-front for promised work.
• Get receipts for everything done and keep good notes about who you talk to and when.

Have a complaint? Call the Office of the Attorney General's toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online at

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