(WFXR) — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Western VA is warning those impacted by the floods in Buchanan County about scammers.

The BBB says that these types of scammers are called “storm chasers”. They take disaster victims’ money and either do poor quality work or never return after they are paid.

There are ways people and businesses can protect themselves from getting scammed.

  • Use the BBB website to find a list of reliable and accredited businesses by industry and business reviews
  • Check to see if the contractor is properly licensed with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation’s Board of Contractors
  • Check to see if your municipality has a solicitation permit for people who go do-to-door by contacting your local township or municipality
  • Make sure you get everything in writing with detailed proposals that are broken down into separate line items and a contractor has prepared an accurate estimate
  • Never pay in full for a job upfront, make a final payment, or sign a final release until the work is complete

IF you want to help and donate, the BBB has the following tips:

  • You can research different organizations on the Give website to find reliable charities that meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity
  • Be careful when giving information online, especially messages and emails that claim to link to a relief organization
  • Be cautious with organizations that claim that all funding will help relief victims
  • Check to see if the charity has staff in the affected areas
  • When donating to food and clothing organizations, double-check with the charity about its transportation and distribution plans