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Local contractor shares tips on how to stay safe from scam artists following derecho

Crews from All Iowa Construction share how often they're fixing jobs left by scam artists.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Keeping a roof over your head is the number one goal for any home owner, literally. 

With thousands of Iowans waiting on claims, assessors and contractors, crooks posing as contractors are looking to take advantage of Iowans desperate for help.

"Our most immediate concern is those clients of ours, both former and current who have a legitimate emergency where the home is exposed or there is a personal safety issue. So, we're trying to get to those first and foremost," Matt Seamer of All Iowa Construction said. 

Unfamiliar phones numbers, it should be a red flag is someone is out soliciting your business early in the morning or late at night and really the big one for us is people who are demanding a down payment either at the first meeting or before material or work is every done.

"We encourage anyone who hasn't gone through the remodeling process before to get multiple bids so you understand what is fair," Seamer said.

"If someone is demanding much more than your insurance will cover - that's a huge red flag," he said.

"Too many times to count have we gone back and finished jobs where people were promised one thing and are left with nothing but an empty wallet and checkbook. 

"If you haven't been refereed by someone, absolutely use Google as a resource but take the time to make [a] couple phone calls, reach out the Better Business Bureau.

Watch our full coverage of the derecho and its aftermath on our YouTube channel:

"And I'm not saying everyone from out of state is bad, but a few phone calls can help prevent headaches down the road," Seamer said.

A good local company will find time to get to you with reason, there is no reason to open your checkbook right away. Just patience is the key here."

The guys at All Iowa Construction say insurance companies will prioritize claims based on immediate need, but it will take patience. 

Less than 24-hrs after the derecho, state farm had over 8,000 claims filed in the Des Moines metro. 

So it will take time for some to get everything fixed. Make sure you stay in contact with your insurance provider and contractor for cost and status updates.

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