Suffered Property Damage In Daytona Beach? Be Alert To Repair Scams
Coastal cities throughout Florida are vulnerable to potentially destructive tropical storms and hurricanes at this time of the year. Unfortunately, scammers are aware of the risks residents face as well and often look to capitalize in the aftermath. If you suffer property damages in Daytona Beach, it is important to use caution when contracting for repairs to avoid being victimized by predators.
Residents Warned About Potential For Contractor Scams
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently issued a warning for Florida residents, alerting them about the potential for contractor scams during hurricane season. According to a July 2021 Fox 4 News report, homeowners along the Gulf Coast have increasingly been targeted by predatory contractors looking to take advantage of people in vulnerable situations and it is a potential risk that residents in Daytona Beach need to be aware of as well.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns that unlicensed contractors and scammers typically view natural disasters, such as tropical storms and hurricanes, as opportunities to line their pockets. They know that residents in affected areas are overwhelmed and desperate to make needed repairs, making them more vulnerable to predatory practices. Among the most common types of contractor scams include:
- Overestimating repairs and the costs involved;
- Not performing work as promised, overlooking important details, or using subpar materials;
- Using personal information obtained during repairs to steal your identity;
- Using contractor repairs as a cover to case your property for future thefts;
- Demanding payment upfront then absconding with the money.
Protecting Yourself Against Property Damage Repair Scams
In the aftermath of a storm, insurance companies may be too busy to send an adjuster right away and local construction crews may be overwhelmed with business. This leaves desperate property owners vulnerable to property damage repair scams.
Bankrate reports that home improvement, construction, and repair scams are one of the most common types of fraud and a leading cause of consumer complaints. To protect yourself against falling victim to a scam, follow these steps:
- Beware of anyone knocking on your door, offering repairs;
- When interviewing local contractors, ask to see their Florida license;
- Deal only with reliable companies who have a list of satisfied customers to provide referrals;
- Never pay money for any repairs upfront.
- Always get a written estimate of costs;
- Limit access to personal information and your home to contractors on your property.
Remember that when property damages do happen, your first steps should be to get a police report and to notify your property damage insurance company. Take photos of all the damage in and around your home, get a written estimate from a reputable contractor, and consult with your insurance adjuster before making repairs.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
To protect your rights when dealing with property damages and to ensure you get what you are entitled to in a claim, reach out to Bundza & Rodriguez. As experienced Daytona Beach property damage attorneys, we are here to help. Contact our office to request a consultation today.