'It's Sad': Scammers Looking To Take Advantage Of Tornado Victims In Oklahoma

After a big natural disaster like the EF-4 tornado that hit Barnsdall Monday, people will be flooding the area offering to make repairs.

Friday, May 10th 2024, 10:31 pm



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People across the state are cleaning up and beginning the process of rebuilding.

But, with every natural disaster, scammers try to take advantage of those who need it, especially those posing as contractors.

Karen Witten, the co-owner of Family Tree Roofing in Tulsa, says it’s frustrating to see people get taken advantage of after a major disaster.

They hope people will check for licenses, reviews, and get referrals from people they trust before they hand over any money.

After a big natural disaster like the EF-4 tornado that hit Barnsdall Monday, people will be flooding the area offering to make repairs.

But, many of them, just want your money.

"It's sad,” said Witten. “We don't want to see that happening. It shouldn't still be happening, but unfortunately, it is. It is frustrating for businesses that would never even think about it."

She says the first thing people should do is check the Construction Industries Board website to make sure people are licensed and insured.

Plus, search the name of the company online with words like “scams” and “review,” to see what other people are saying.

Be leery of people wanting money up front, always get everything in writing, and read it closely.

"Be leery about companies that really want to push you into signing an agreement right up front,” said Witten. “Make sure you know what they're going to provide, the value they're going to provide, the services they're going to provide, and make sure your insurance company actually approves the job before you're committing to a company."

It’s important to do what you can to stop additional damage, take lots of pictures, and contact your insurance company.

"In that situation, obviously mitigating the issue, not to cause further problems,” said Witten. “If you have part of your roof blown off, or windows broken out, obviously you need somebody to tarp, cover, take care of those immediate issues because then it will just cause further damage."

She says it may be tempting to let some repairs wait, but it’s best to get the damage fixed as soon as possible in case of another big storm.

"It will continue,” said Witten. “We're right in the midst of it. For the next month or two, it's really important to just be prepared. Everybody should have their agent's information, that's the first place I would go is call your agent."

The Oklahoma Attorney General says if you run into contractors that aren’t legitimate, be sure to let them know at the link HERE.  

If you have damage report it to www.damage.ok.gov even if you aren’t pursuing an insurance claim, because the reports play a crucial role in accessing disaster relief funds.

You can find more information about preparing for storms and reviewing your insurance coverage at the link HERE.

For information on the Construction Industries board, visit the link HERE.  

Family Tree Roofing also recommends people visit THIS LINK for referrals.

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