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

6 years 7 months 3 days ago Wednesday, August 24 2016 Aug 24, 2016 August 24, 2016 11:13 PM August 24, 2016 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


- 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.


- 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.

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