BBB warns of storm-related scams after Wednesday tornadoes

·2 min read

Homeowners are being alerted of scammers targeting those dealing with storm damage after Wednesday’s tornadoes.

The National Weather said one of the tornadoes was the strongest near Tipp City in Miami County where it took out a Meijer distribution center.

“Right now we’re just trying to clean it up enough to where we can mow our grass again,” Erika Thornbury of Tipp City said.

Thornbury and her neighbor Frank Douglass said after the storm rumbled through, another sound started popping up in their neighborhood.

“The doorbell probably rang a dozen times each day with people just ‘Hey, I’m in the neighborhood!” Douglass said.

>> Tornado aftermath: How high in the air was debris carried?

Douglass said within a half-hour after the storms people were coming by telling him they could give him a quote for cleaning up the damage.

“All the neighbors have said that they’ve had so many that they don’t answer the door anymore,” Thornbury said.

The Dayton Better Business Bureau told News Center 7′s John Bedell that this is a red flag.

They warned of contractors known as “Storm Chasers”, out of town workers who travel to communities hit by storms, and do quick, shoddy work according to the BBB.

The BBB also said this is a busy season for tree and roofing contractors and reputable ones won’t be going door-to-door looking for business.

The City of Springfield sent out a notice warning storm damage victims of scams, saying they can help residents find information that will help them avoid dishonest companies in the area.

>> Photos: Funnel clouds, storm damage across the Miami Valley

Experts suggest researching contractors before you commit to them or using someone you’ve used before.

“We’ll be checking into them before we ask them to do any work or anything,” Thornbury said.

Many communities across the Miami Valley require any business going door-to-door to register with them, it’s a solicit list.

Anyone going door-to-door should be able to produce this paperwork they have on file with your local government — they are often required to do so on-demand.