Protecting Yourself Against Flood Repair Scammers

Local News

People in KELOLAND are bracing for the next round of flooding. 

Between last week’s storm and what’s to come, there will be plenty of damage to repair. 

Steve Stein is still trying to pump all of the water out of his house after Skunk Creed flooded last week. 

A portion of his basement wall collapsed. 

“I just heard this tremendous boom,boom,” Steve Stein said. 

The water got so high it even crept onto the main level. 

Stein is one of many whose house is damaged by floodwater. 

With so much work to be done, KELOLAND could start to see traveling contractors. 

“Are there good people in those groups of people? Yes, there are. But there are some people who do substandard work and may not even finish the work at all and be on their way,” Better Business Bureau South Dakota Director Jessie Schmidt said. 

If you’re approached by one of these businesses you should ask questions and do your research. 

Check to see if they’re registered with the secretary of state. 

“That’s the first thing they have to do. They have to ensure they are paying taxes here in South Dakota,” Schmidt said. 

Find out if they’re licensed, bonded, and insured. 

Don’t give into pressure. 

“If they say, ‘Hey, I’ve got 10 more appointments so if you do it today fine. You can be on the top of the list. But if don’t, you’re going to be three pages down.’ That sort of pressure is not a great way to make a decision,” Schmidt said. 

Stein hasn’t been approached by one of these businesses, but he says if he rebuilds, he’ll choose a local, licensed contractor. 

Because while you can’t always stop floodwater..

“There’s nothing I can do,” Stein said. 

…you can protect yourself against scammers. 

There are plenty of other tips to keep in mind such as: don’t pay for the job in advance. 

And don’t take their word for it if they say they don’t need a building permit. 

Click here for a full list of tips from the Better Business Bureau. 

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