61°
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
7 Day Forecast
Follow our weather team on social media

Attorney general warns flood victims of scams and gives tips for protection

4 months 4 weeks 2 days ago August 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016 Wednesday, August 24 2016 August 24, 2016 11:13 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Alicia Serrano

BATON ROUGE – Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office is warning residents impacted by the flood of possible scams and tips they should practice to protect themselves in a time where many are vulnerable.

See below for the list of scams and tips:

Price Gouging

- Occurs when someone charges inflated and unjustified prices for products or services during declared states of emergency

- Report suspected price gouging to your local sheriff or district attorney and to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section at 800-351-4889 or by filing a report at www.AGJeffLandry.com

Fake officials

- Some portray themselves as government officials or insurance adjusters to obtain personal information or gain access to your home.

- Ask for ID and verify credentials of people offering low-interest government loans or requesting fees for services.

- FEMA does NOT charge for any services

Contractors:

- Get at least three bids on the same amount of work. All bids should be itemized and detailed.

- Require the contractor to show proof of insurance. Call that insurer for confirmation.

- Verify the contractor’s address and ask for references of previous customers. Make sure the contractor is licensed through the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors at www.lslbc.louisiana.gov

- Do not agree to a large down payment. A down payment is typically not more than 10 percent to 25 percent of the total price.

- Get a contract in writing and keep a copy.

- Always pay by check or money order and keep a receipt.

Documentation:

- Take pictures of home damage and repair work.

- Take pictures of contractors, their license, business cards, driver’s license, vehicles, company names, and the company names on the sides of vehicles.

- Keep all photos and email them to yourself.


Fake charities:

- Do not donate to a charity that asks for cash or wired donations and that does not provide proof your contribution is tax deductible.

- Search the IRS site to determine which organizations are eligible to receive tax deductible contributions: https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/

- Learn more about a charity’s legitimacy on the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance website at www.give.org.



Rental property:

- Have someone visit the locations of the advertised property.

- Never wire money or give out your bank account or credit card info. Over the phone or internet



Pest control:

- Flood waters bring out pests

- Beware of free inspections that could result in unnecessary repairs and expenses.

- Get a second opinion.


Water treatment devices:

- If you think your drinking water may be affected then contact the public health or water department before purchasing a water treatment unit.

- Offers to test the tap water in your home for free is almost always a part of a sales promotion.

- If in doubt, boil your water for a least one minute or drink bottled water. Also visit www.epa.gov.


Auto repairs:

- Have your car checked out by a car dealer or a repair shop if your car was submerged or standing in over a foot of water for more than an hour.

- Even if the car runs there may be hidden damage.

- Be sure to get a detailed, written estimate and keep copies of all the receipts and invoices.

- If you are looking to buy a used vehicle, inspect it carefully. Look at hidden parts to check mud or silt or indicators of the car having damage.

More News

Desktop News

Click to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Radar
7 Days