— Check a contractor's credentials with the Better Business Bureau or state attorney general's office.
— Deal with reputable contractors in your community.
— Have a written, detailed contract that clearly states everything the contractor will do, with estimated start completion date.
FLOOD-DAMAGED CARS SCAMS
— Run a check on the vehicle identification number (VIN) of any used car or truck you consider buying in the months ahead to see if it has been reported to have been damaged. If it has, you need to do some more homework.
Three free services for consumers to check it, offered by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (http://www.ncib.org ), Carfax (http://www.carfax.com/flood ) and AutoCheck (http://www.autocheck.com/storm ).
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