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Scam artists surface in wake of flooding

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By Ramsey Scott

When disasters strike, so do scam artists.
As soon as the storm waters began to recede, reports surfaced about attempts to con flooding victims  out of what they had left by criminals posing as aid workers and insurance agents.
Here are a few things residents should keep in mind while recovering from the floods, from the Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder.
•    Hire a reputable company to provide repair and restoration services. Check with the Better Business Bureau or industry groups like Cleaning and Restoration Association and the Restoration Industry Association before hiring anyone to restore your home or business. Check for a free quote and a list of businesses at www.bbb.org/denver/accredited-business-directory.
• Don’t sign any paperwork without understanding it first. If the contractor is demanding you sign something on the spot, find another contractor.
• Be suspicious of any contractor calling you or going door to door offering repairs. Use only contractors you’ve contacted first.
• Don’t make any decision on the spot. Many scammers will pray on the emotional state victims of natural disasters.
• Keep copies of every contract and form you sign.
• Don’t pay for the repairs up front. The BBB says it is common for some contractors to ask for a down payment up front, but it should never exceed a third of the total cost of repairs. Arrange payments based on a work schedule.