PERRYTON, TX (KFDA) - In most cases after a storm hits, you're guard may be down. That's the case for the Gonzales family in Perryton. The lost of these trees is making it hard to clean up.
"There are just a lot of trees everywhere and it's very sad because this house has been in my family forever. So, these trees have been here forever," said Sydney Gonzales.
Thousand more feel the same in the northeast part of the Panhandle and it's times like this where scammers come out, preying on these emotions.
"There not out there to help you with the disaster," said Executive Director and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Amarillo Janna Kiehl. "They're not out there to help you clean up your yard, trees or shrubs. They're out there to take your money and that's all."
They have a name for these kinds of scammers -- they call them Wood Chucks because they are associated with tree trimming scams. These are the guys who go to a home and claim they notice some kind of problem, like a dangerous tree or clogged up gutters.
They don't hit every home. There are people who scout our locations along the way.
Kiehl says the folks doing the most clean up damage need to know how to spot a bogus company.
"We really want people to be careful about paying up front before the work is done and definitely before it's even started," said Kiehl. "Companies with long standing relationships that have been in this business, they don't ask for that money up front before they do the work."
Make sure to also ask for contract -- don't base the work off a verbal agreement. Ask for a business card, and if you if you know a family member or a neighbor who may become a victim -- warn them and call the police.