Major storms, including hurricanes and ice storms, can cause widespread damage across regions, putting families in vulnerable positions during recovery efforts. Unfortunately, post‑disaster scammers are out there, looking to take advantage of these vulnerabilities. Follow these tips to avoid scams after the storm.
- Do your homework on contractors. Verify contractors with state and local consumer protection officials. Ask to see a license and certificate of insurance. If a contractor tells you work is covered by your insurance, call your insurance company to confirm. Be skeptical if someone promises immediate clean-up.
- Never pay someone up front or in cash to assess or repair storm damage. Instead, pay with a credit card or check as work is done.
- Research charities before you donate. Protect your personal information if you decide to give.
- Remember that your electric cooperative will never demand payment immediately or over the phone. Contact your co-op immediately to report any questionable activity.
If you’ve been the victim of a disaster‑related scam, call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.