JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster issued a consumer alert Friday warning consumers to be alert after Wednesday night's storms for storm-chasers, or scammers who take advantage of Missouri consumers in need.

Storm-chasers usually go door-to-door offering to provide roofing and repair service, often claiming to be specialized contractors or recovery experts. In reality, the scammers provide shoddy work or no work at all after taking upfront payments. The scammers then flee the region and leave the homeowners with no way to get their money back.

"We are here to protect Missourians whose homes and businesses were damaged by these devastating storms," Koster said. "All Missourians who experienced storm damage should be on the alert for storm-chasers - scammers who follow severe weather and prey on people needing to repair or rebuild their property."

Storm-chasers may use high-pressure sales tactics, ask for upfront cash and attempt to convince consumers to sign a contract allowing their company to negotiate directly with the homeowner's insurance company. The scammers may have out-of-state driver's licenses or license plates and may not be able to produce local references or prove they have bonds or licenses required in Missouri.

Koster said his office would pursue action against anyone who takes advantage of Missouri consumers cleaning up after the storms.

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