Officials urge residents to be wary of contractor scams after st - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Officials urge residents to be wary of contractor scams after storms

A warning from Lowndes County officials: beware of potential scammers looking to make a profit off storm damage. (Source: WALB) A warning from Lowndes County officials: beware of potential scammers looking to make a profit off storm damage. (Source: WALB)
Hermine left many homes damaged and many folks are turning to contractors to get repairs. (Source: WALB) Hermine left many homes damaged and many folks are turning to contractors to get repairs. (Source: WALB)
It's a sad story to hear. Folks getting heavy damage like this from Hermine, and then scammers trying to capitalize on it. (Source: WALB) It's a sad story to hear. Folks getting heavy damage like this from Hermine, and then scammers trying to capitalize on it. (Source: WALB)
"We survived Hermine with no injuries related to the storm and we don't want that to happen during our cleanup. We certainly don't want anyone to be taken advantage of here in our community," said Paige Dukes. (Source: WALB) "We survived Hermine with no injuries related to the storm and we don't want that to happen during our cleanup. We certainly don't want anyone to be taken advantage of here in our community," said Paige Dukes. (Source: WALB)
"They need to make sure they're covered under both workers comp and general liability, and they have a local business license," said Rodger Bennett, Bennett's Tree Service Owner. (Source: WALB) "They need to make sure they're covered under both workers comp and general liability, and they have a local business license," said Rodger Bennett, Bennett's Tree Service Owner. (Source: WALB)
LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) -

A warning from Lowndes County officials: beware of potential scammers looking to make a profit off storm damage.

Hermine left many homes damaged and many folks are turning to contractors to get repairs.

It's a sad story to hear. Folks getting heavy damage like this from Hermine, and then scammers trying to capitalize on it. 

But it's something county officials said happens after major storms all the time.

They shared some tips on how to make sure you don't fall victim to the scammers. 

Trees down, limbs stacked and damaged homes. It's a common sight across Lowndes County. 

"We survived Hermine with no injuries related to the storm and we don't want that to happen during our cleanup. We certainly don't want anyone to be taken advantage of here in our community," said Paige Dukes, Lowndes County Public Information. 

Cleanup is well underway, but not everyone is here to help. 

"It's extremely unfortunate that in a time of need that someone would prey on someone that is in a moment of weakness," said Dukes. 

Scammers looking to make a penny off your damaged homes. 

Officials said folks need to be aware of scammers acting as contractors. 

They say there are a few key documents you should ask to see from any potential contractor.

"Ask them for anything that they have related to licensing," said Dukes.

"They need to make sure they're covered under both workers comp and general liability, and they have a local business license," said Rodger Bennett, Bennett's Tree Service Owner. 

After getting documents you can call the county or cities to verify businesses as well. 

Bennett said providing the information is part of their job, and it's one way to keep yourself safe.

"I actually encourage people to do it," said Bennett. 

But they also ask everyone to remain patient. 

They say a quick fix is never the answer and with damage spread throughout the county. it takes crews time to get to all of it. 

"I know my guys, they're extremely tired. They're working from daylight to dark every day. They have not had a day off since the storm came through," said Bennett. 

Officials said if businesses can't provide you with proper licenses you should probably walk away from the offer. 

They also ask anyone to report any scammers or businesses they don't think are legitimate. 

Copyright 2016 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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