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Indiana AG Curtis Hill warns Hoosiers to beware of scams after severe weather

Posted at 8:22 PM, May 28, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — A damaging storm is bad enough. Scam artists who prey on severe weather's victims can make it even worse.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill warned Hoosiers a day after Monday's tornadoes and severe storms to beware of shady contractors who might try to take advantage of people cleaning up the aftermath.

“We’ve all seen the significant damage that can result from storms ripping through neighborhoods," Hill said in a release. "Hoosiers needing home repairs can become vulnerable targets for fly-by-night fix-up crews that appear at their doorsteps promising to work cheaply and quickly.”

Hill advised homeowners and consumers to do their homework to make sure they hire trustworthy companies. He also offered the following tips:

  • Do not sign documents or agree to any repair work on the spot during initial contact with someone offering services. Instead, simply obtain the person’s contact information.
  • Do not provide access to your home to any stranger offering to perform a free inspection. Among other possible dangers, unethical contractors have been known to secretly cause damage to homes in order to then repair it.
  • Do not fall for high-pressure tactics such as the claim that you’ll get the best deal by agreeing to hire a contractor immediately on the spot.
  • Consider the possible wisdom of finding your own contractor rather than accepting the services of someone who shows up at your house.
  • Research any business or individual offering services. Look for signs of credibility such as official websites. Seek reviews and testimonials from former customers.
  • Contact your insurance agency to find out your terms of coverage. Ask whether your insurance company recommends any particular repair company.
  • Do not sign over insurance checks directly to repair companies. Rather, obtain the invoices yourself and pay repair companies directly.
  • Get multiple quotes. Shop and compare just as you would with any other important consumer decision.
  • Avoid letting the emotional toll of a situation influence decisions about repairing or replacing items that are damaged or lost.

People are asked to contact the Office of the Attorney General about any suspected scams by visiting indianaconsumer.com or calling 1-800-382-5516.