We’ve covered “storm chaser contractors” (i.e. predatory contractors who knock on doors immediately after a natural disaster and pressure homeowners in to signing costly repair contracts), but it appears that there’s a new type of scam gaining popularity – “fire chasing.”

Similar to storm chaser contractors, these fire chasers are targeting victims of home fire right after the disaster and stringing homeowners into signing expensive repair contracts – often which greatly exceed their insurance coverage. These fire chasers are becoming common in the Bakersfield, California area, according to a news report out of Kern County.

Unethical restoration practices are nothing new, and neither are fire chaser contractors. But what makes recent reports alarming is the current conditions that California is experiencing. By now, you likely know that California is in the midst of a significant drought, and the dry conditions have been somewhat of a self-starter for wildfires. Should wildfires continue to spread and impact residential areas, there will likely only be more of these fire chasers trying to take advantage of vulnerable homeowners.

 If you’re in an area of particular risk, now would be a good time to remind your clients about the difference between an ethical restoration contractor and a scam.