Storm moves out, scammers move in

Before hiring a company to remove broken tree limbs and dangling branches caused by the winter ice storm, the Coastal Carolina Better Business Bureau warns you to do your homework on the company or person you're about to hire.

The BBB says scammers see the winter storm as a chance to pretend they work for a professional tree service company, taking your money, and leaving you empty handed.

The BBB advises you to ask to see a business license and pay attention to the tools they have.

"Look at the truck. Ask where they're based out of. Do they have a local office?" Kathy Graham, President and CEO of the Coastal Carolina Better Business Bureau suggested.

John McCarthy runs a licensed tree service company, Acadia Tree Service. He says they've been working nonstop day in and day out removing mangled trees.

"They're a hazard. If they fall on a roof, or a car, or on somebody walking around; this guy here said he was out here walking his dog and that big one fell right next to him," said McCarthy.

He had another suggestion to help identify someone getting ready to rip you off.

"You can usually tell by looking at the vehicles, the equipment they have, if they don't have the right equipment."

Kathy Heustess of conway says she won't be falling prey.

"There's always scammers who are looking to take advantage of a situation, so I think we'll be turning those people down," said Heustess.

Paul Jollie, agrees with Heustess, and says that's why he hires close to home.

"Right here that's why we go with the family and try to save as much money as possible," said Jollie.

The BBB says if someone knocks on your door asking for work, that can be the first sign that something isn't right. And just because someone has an ad in a publication or a business card, doesn't mean they're legitimate.

To see if the BBB has accredited a business you can access their site by clicking here.