Local experts share red flags to look for to avoid falling victim to “storm chasers” following severe weather

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO)- Following recent severe weather across the Stateline, local experts say you should be on high alert to avoid getting scammed.

Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford regional office of the Better Business Bureau, says con artists will often go from house-to-house, promising to fix any damage to your property.

“As sure as we get the storms, we get storm chasers,” Horton said. “”If someone shows up, knocks on your door, and says ‘I brought a public adjuster with me,’ know that that public adjuster doesn’t work for your insurance company. Doesn’t work for any insurance company, as a matter of fact, and you don’t have to use them.”

One tactic commonly employed by storm chasers is insisting you pay for their work upfront. But Horton says a reputable contractor will establish a timeline for both their repairs and compensation.

“Stop and think, and don’t rush the decision that you’re going to make,” Horton said. “And don’t feel pressured by anyone who knocks on your door. High-pressure tactics is a huge red flag for people.”

Doing a little bit of research can help you find a trustworthy company. Tim Mazurkiewicz, owner of A+ Restoration in Roscoe, says it could be as simple as talking to your neighbors.

“If there’s storms in the area, and a lot of work going on, ask around in the neighborhood and get some feedback from people,” Mazurkiewicz said. “I know a lot of the social media sites, like NextDoor app and some of the other ones, people are very vocal on there about who to use or who not to use.”

“Pick a local company to work with,” Horton suggested. “Someone that has a brick and mortar building, that if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to find them.”

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