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Avoid being taken advantage of by non-reputable contractors

Avoid being taken advantage of by non-reputable contractors / Matt Thielke (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- While many are beginning the recovery effort after Tropical Storm Irma caused damage throughout Georgia, officials are warning of non-reputable contractors taking advantage of home and business owners.

On Tuesday at a press conference in Atlanta, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr warned anyone trying to take advantage of hurting Georgians that they will be prosecuted.

Jason Blankenship with the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia said that his office has been getting many calls since the storm came through from concerned citizens reporting being taken advantage of by supposed contractors.

He said that although many are hoping to complete repairs and get back on their feet quickly, it is still important to do your homework before you hire someone.

Blankenship recommends getting at least three different quotes from contractors and executing a background check on those companies before hiring them.

He said that oftentimes during natural disasters, people come from out of state looking for work and that oftentimes, those individuals are not reputable contractors. He said you should be suspicious of any contractors driving vehicles with out of state license plates asking if they can fix your home.

Additionally, Blankenship said that you should make sure you do your research before signing any work contracts. He said you should read it very carefully and make sure that any work agreed upon is detailed clearly in your contract.

Furthermore, he said that contractors almost never require full payment up front, so if you encounter a contractor that is requesting that, it could be a red flag.

The attorney general's office recommends making sure a contractor is licensed by looking them up on the Georgia Secretary of State's website.

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