LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Flood response efforts have brought out the best in those who wish to help. Unfortunately, it can also bring out con artists, with scammers looking to take advantage of the vulnerable.

Experts from the better business bureau serving central and eastern Kentucky are emphasizing being mindful of who you’re hiring to clean and rebuild.

Some contractors will promise quick fixes but end up taking the money and running. Others will even create damage to get work. Experts recommend flood victims be on the lookout for warning signs like contractors who show up unannounced, or contractors asking for full payment upfront.

“If someone is very vague on where they’re from, what they can do for you, they don’t want to put it in writing, those are big red flags. If you spend money trying to get rebuilding done from insurance or other sources, and these folks leave you with nothing done and take your money, you’ll be back at square one. Be on the safe side and check out who you’re using,” said Better Business Bureau serving central and eastern Kentucky Director of Communications Heather Clary.

Clary says this is also a way for volunteers traveling to eastern Kentucky to help.

“The folks that are going down to help out, you can also help out by keeping an eye out for these scams that may be going on. People who are down there have had their worlds turned upside-down. They may not be as cognizant of what’s going on. They’re just trying to survive and move forward. We need everybody to help watch out for the scammers so we can warn everyone about them and guide people towards the reputable people that can help them rebuild and get on with their lives,” Clary said.

Clary recommends reporting suspicious behavior from contractors to the BBB Scam tracker. That link is included here.