Homeowner alert: Five ways to spot a monsoon storm chaser

Aug 6, 2015, 3:02 PM
A dismayed Nick Kriaris wades through his flooded home after heavy rains caused severe flash floodi...
A dismayed Nick Kriaris wades through his flooded home after heavy rains caused severe flash flooding Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Phoenix. His home has flooded three times in the past month, and he had just fixing the damage in his home from the previous two monsoon storm floodings when the storm hit. The Monday morning storm set an all-time record for rainfall in Phoenix in a single day. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Monsoon season in Arizona means it’s also prime time for storm chasers.

These chasers can be fake tradespeople who pretend to be competent contractors and offer to fix the leak in your roof that started in a big storm, cut down the damaged tree in your yard or fix that broken window.

In Arizona — and all over the country as well — lots of bad people are out there ringing doorbells or making phone calls after a mini-disaster strikes. They can be drifters or even Arizona residents who say they will fix the problems at your house for a really good price.

Here are five ways to spot someone who has a phony proposal for you:

• They often require an upfront cash payment of some kind. Sometimes, they’ll even drive someone to the bank to make a withdrawal.

• The tactics of these alleged contractors are often very similar about deposits. They say things like, “You’ll have to pay me today, or I might have to leave town tomorrow and you’ll miss out on this really good price.”

• They claim to be working up the street or doing a job for a relative living nearby.

• They even call on the phone unsolicited and say that they worked for you once before. You’re not sure that they did, but you may be thinking about talking to them.

• They say they’ll offer you a great deal on a roofing or painting job because they have leftover material on their truck.

Consumers often tell heartbreaking stories of paying large sums of money upfront to get a roofing job started. The check is cashed immediately, but the roofer never shows up to do the work and does not respond to voicemail messages or emails. It’s easy to avoid getting into one of these situations by hiring only experienced, bonded and insured contractors that have been licensed by the state of Arizona.

That’s why Rosie on the House is always advising homeowners to hire only licensed and insured contractors, and most especially the very best contractors that are Rosie-Certified. It’s also important for you, the savvy homeowners, to alert relatives and friends about the risk.

When working on this kind of an issue for yourself or someone else, check out the license number and record of any contractor you are considering. This is something that everyone should do. It takes mere minutes to check the name and/or number of the contractor online on the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website. And if the contractor can’t give you a legitimate license number, you know they’ve got a problem.


For more tips, help and information visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information, RosieontheHouse.com.

And if you are in need of a contractor you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at RosieontheHouse.com – Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

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Homeowner alert: Five ways to spot a monsoon storm chaser