By Dave Savini

(CBS) — When big storms hit, scam artists often strike, looking for desperate homeowners.

As CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini reports, any community hit by bad weather this week could be targeted by these storm chasers.

Contractors are already swooping in after Tuesday’s treacherous weather that included tornadoes and baseball-sized hail. In Ottawa, they are being forced to register at the police department as a precaution.

Steve Bernas of the Better Business Bureau has seen it too often.

“They use scare tactics to get in your house, to get on your roof. They actually do damage and say, ‘Hey, we can take care of this problem,'” he says.

After a hail storm in 2010, undercover video caught workers swarming neighborhoods and even causing phony storm damage.

Don’t let workers inspect your home until you investigate them first, Bernas says. Make sure contractors are licensed, and get two to three estimates, he adds.

“What you shouldn’t do is sign a contract or give him cash,” Bernas says.

For more information, go to the Illinois Attorney General’s website. 


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