Protect Yourself from Scams in the Aftermath of Flooding

As communities recover from devastating floods and ongoing flash storms, it is crucial to remain vigilant against scams that often emerge in the aftermath of such emergencies. Sheriff Kevin McConville has warned residents, urging them to be cautious and aware of common scam tactics. Let's explore two prevalent scams - impersonation fraud and price gouging - and provide valuable tips to help you protect yourself and your community.

Impersonation Fraud and Price Gouging: Common Scams to Watch Out For

In the wake of recent flooding, residents must be wary of impersonation fraud, where scammers pose as government officials and request personal information. Legitimate officials rarely ask for personal information in this manner, so verifying their identity is crucial before sharing sensitive data. Additionally, dishonest businesses may engage in price gouging, taking advantage of the emergency to sell essential goods at unreasonably high prices. Protect yourself by knowing your rights and reporting instances of price gouging to the authorities.

Research and Verify Contractors for Home Repairs

Home repair scams can compound the challenges faced by flood-impacted homeowners. To protect yourself, thoroughly research and verify any contractors you consider hiring. Check the Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs' list of registered contractors and consult organizations like the Better Business Bureau for reviews and ratings. Request references and contact them to gauge the contractor's reliability and quality of work.

Get Everything in Writing and Trust Your Instincts

When dealing with contractors, insist on a written contract that includes a detailed work description, materials, timelines, payment schedule, and any warranties or guarantees. Review the contract carefully before signing, and never rely solely on verbal agreements. Trust your instincts and be cautious if something feels off or too good to be true. If you suspect a home repair scam, report it promptly to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

In the aftermath of flooding and ongoing storms, it is essential to remain vigilant and protect yourself from scams. Be aware of impersonation fraud and price gouging, as scammers may exploit the situation. Verify the identity of individuals claiming to be officials and report any suspicious activities. Additionally, thoroughly research and verify contractors before hiring them for home repairs. Get everything in writing and trust your instincts. By staying informed and proactive, we can prevent scammers from exploiting those already affected by the floods.