Georgia Attorney General Warns Residents of Scammers Following Severe Weather

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s office is warning Georgians affected by the recent severe weather of scammers trying to exploit the disaster.

Over the weekend, more than 300,000 residents in Georgia were left without power and some communities in the northern part of the state experienced downed trees, power lines and other damage due to a night of severe overnight storms, according to The Weather Channel.

As a result, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division is reminding those affected by the storms to be mindful when hiring entities for home repair work or tree-removal services.

“Following the recent storms, Georgia consumers and businesses should continue to be on the lookout for home repair fraud and other related scams,” Attorney General Carr wrote in a social media post. “Con artists will often try to take advantage of those impacted by severe weather. If you’re dealing with storm damage, make sure to thoroughly research a potential contractor or tree removal service.”

Storm victims, according to Carr’s office, are “often more vulnerable to home repair fraud because they may be so desperate to get their lives back to normal that they don’t question the costs they’re quoted or thoroughly check out the person they’re hiring.”

Some of the tips Carr’s office recommends to avoid being a victim of these types of scammers, often referred to as “storm chasers,” are:

  • Avoid door-to-door offers for home repair work and instead ask friends and neighbors for referrals;
  • Be wary of contractors who ask for full payment up-front, only accept payment in cash, or who refuse to provide you with a written contract;
  • Get written bids from at least three contractors. Be skeptical if the bid is too low;
  • Be skeptical of any contractor that offers to pay your insurance deductible or offers other no-cost incentives, as these can be signs of fraud; and
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against the business.

– – –

Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network.Photo “Chris Carr” by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. Background Photo “Courtroom” by Carol M. Highsmith.



Related posts