Scammers target hurricane victims; Protect yourself from illegitimate contractors

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WEST MONROE, LA. (KTVE/KARD)– The Better Business Bureau is warning those in need of home improvements to check your sources before hiring.

As we all know, Hurricane Laura tore through our area, leaving many with damaged homes and in need of repairs. Unfortunately, some people are preying on those in need.

Monroe Police said Danny McGough was recently arrested and charged for residential contractor fraud. According to reports, McGough was paid more than $13,000 to fix a woman’s home and gazebo, but never did any of the work. Jo Ann Deal with the BBB said he’s not the only one.

“If someone just walks up to the door, it’s not a good idea to just start your project,” Deal said. “You can take their information, but it’s always important not to start the project immediately without going through the proper steps.”

Deal said before hiring, you should get two to three estimates and verify the contractor’s license.

“You can text the information to the Louisiana State Board of Contractors at 1-855-999-7896 to see if they have a licensing that they may say they have,” Deal said.

She added you should not make a large down payment. Instead make payments as work is completed to avoid being scammed. Also, make sure to get everything in writing and lots of pictures.

“And most importantly, be aware,” Deal said. “Whether you are having trees repaired or a roof repaired, other damages can happen in the process of that repair. You need to have thought ahead about how you are going to deal with it and what you are going to do about it.”

The BBB can help you properly file a complaint. You can also search the contractor website to see all of the contractor violations that are already filed.

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