How to avoid repair, charity scams after Hurricane Laura

Whether you need repairs to your home after Hurricane Laura, or want to donate to relief efforts, you need to watch for scams.

The Better Business Bureau says they're still receiving complaints about scams since Hurricane Harvey hit three years ago.

Hurricane Laura left many homeowners vulnerable to storm chasers, contractors who will go door-to-door offering repair services.

"You're going to be seeing license plates from all over the United States coming to work in Texas and Louisiana. Chances are, most of them will be fine, but you've got to check them out," said Better Business Bureau President Dan Parsons.

Parsons says you should check the licensing and insurance of any speciality contractors with the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration or by calling 1-800-803-9202.

"All of the licensed trades, air conditioning, plumbing, pest control, all those area, flood mitigation, they have insurance as a requirement for their state license," said Parsons.

The State of Texas does not license general contractors, but many municipalities do. You can check their licensing there, and check out their reputation with the Better Business Bureau,  Angie's List,  Home Advisor, or a Chamber of Commerce.

"I see this every time," said Parsons. "You guys had nothing on them. No file. That ain’t good!"

Ask for references and get quotes from three contractors so that you don't overpay.

Many relief agencies, such as the American Red Cross, are already deploying aid in hard-hit areas.

"We have Red Cross volunteers and employees who are in the southeast texas area," said the Red Cross' Jackie Drake.

If you're looking to donate money to relief efforts, Drake suggests going directly to an organization's website, rather than respond to a solicitation from what could be an imposter.

"The best advice I would give you is to go straight to the source. If you want to donate to the Red Cross, you can go to or you can text Red Cross to 90999 to donate $10," said Drake.

For additional ways you can donate to help, click here