Scam Alert-Be aware of storm damage contractors
Following the tornado that hit Marshalltown yesterday afternoon, the Marshalltown Police Department is warning citizens to be aware of scams.
While most contractors coming to help Marshalltown are reputable, some will not be. The Department offers the following tips to protect yourself from scams
- Research the business-Obtain the contractor's name, address, and telephone number. Check with the Better Business Bureau, conduct a basic internet search and ask for references.
- Get several estimates and be cautious of a contractor who quotes a price drastically less than others.
- Do not make large payments in advance, be wary of contractors who ask you to sign over your insurance check or ask you to establish a line of credit with a local lumber store.
- Insist on a written contract detailing the costs, the work to be done, the starting and ending dates and any verbal promises made by the contractors.
- Consider paying with a credit card as this may give you greater protections to dispute unauthorized charges, which paying with cash does not.
If a contractor's promises seem too good to be true, they probably are. If you believe you have been scammed, please call the Department as soon as possible as this will give us a better chance to prevent further scams and apprehend those responsible.