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Warning: Contractor Fraud is Rampant After Hurricanes

Last week’s landfall of Hurricane Isaac is a stark reminder of something we’ve reported on extensively at Construction Citizen: There are many unscrupulous contractors out there who won’t wait a second to take advantage during a crisis.

The damage from Isaac could cost as much as $1.5 billion, according to a catastrophe modeling company, EQECAT Incorporated.  Many people who live in Louisiana and Mississippi will need extensive work done on their homes and some might have to completely rebuild.  The New Orleans Times-Picayune is already reporting that contractors are moving into St. Tammany Parish, for example, looking for work after the hurricane.  Some, but not all, of these contractors are what my friend Jim Kollaer calls “The gypsies.”  These are the folks who swoop in, do shoddy work, then disappear never to be heard from again.

Several things the St. Tammany Parish is telling people to do if they need repair work following the hurricane:

  • “Seek multiple quotes from reputable, licensed contractors
  • Ask to see the license and insurance documentation
  • Take a photo of your contractor and get identification
  • Check and re-check all references
  • Call the Better Business Bureau at 504-581-6222 or visit them online.”

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