After a line of storms in the area overnight, and another round expected for parts of Michigan tonight, the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan warns consumers to be cautious when hiring others to assist with repair and cleanup from damages. "Times like these often bring out the best in our neighbors," says Phil Catlett, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan. "But, unfortunately, it also brings out scammers who take advantage of those who have already been victimized." Be wary of anyone going door-to-door offering storm cleanup assistance, according the the Bureau. Unlicensed persons often canvas neighborhoods after a storm offering to repair damaged property with deals that seem too good to be true. Many times, the money is paid without the work being done.\u00a0 Here are some more tips from the Bureau before your hire any contractor: \u2022 Research the business. Visit BBB.org to research the company before you decide. Make sure any company you hire has working contact information, such as a local address and phone number. \u2022 Only hire licensed and insured contractors. Verify the contractor has a valid license to do the work. While most tree companies do not require state licensing, roofers and other repair companies likely do need to be licensed. You can check on builders licensing with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The Better Business Bureau checks every year to make sure all Better Business Bureau Accredited Businesses have the necessary licenses. \u2022 Get multiple bids and seek referrals. Ask at least three companies for bids. The lowest-priced bid may not be the best. A contractor should be able to give you reference names and phone numbers of at least three clients with projects like yours. \u2022\u00a0 Get a written contract and read it. Make sure any verbal promises are included, as well as; the agreed upon price, specific work to be done and the start date and expected completion date. Obtain a signed copy of the final contract before work is started. \u2022 Never pay the full amount up front. Be wary of any contractor who demands full payment upfront. Contractors may require a down payment to cover materials, but full payment should not be due until the work is complete and you are satisfied. Pay by credit card, if possible, never with cash. When paying by check, make payments to the company, not an individual. The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan also offers these additional resources: Find a reputable contractor near you here. Report scams here.