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Check contractors carefully when repairing storm damages

Friday - 6/14/2013, 1:44pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- Like bees to honey, scam artists flock to areas hit by severe weather.

Criminals will target storm victims, hoping to make easy cash posing as legitimate repair contractors who can fix homes on the cheap.

"We recommend that people are careful," warns Maryland Assistant Attorney General Karen Straughn. "Be very careful with people who come to your door to try and deal with problems you have as a result of the storm."

Property owners with damage from heavy winds and rain are urged to get at least three estimates before moving forward with repairs.

If one so-called company is offering a job for a substantially lower rate, their claims may be too good to be true.

"Usually they'll tell you things such as they're doing work in the area, their materials are in the area and their labor is in the area and that's why they can do it for you cheaper," Straughn says.

Another piece of advice: Check to ensure the contractor you are considering has a license with the state.

"You should never do work with someone who is not licensed," Straughn says.

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