INDIANA (WEHT) — With severe weather on the horizon, Attorney General Todd Rokita is warning homeowners of scams this spring season.
Scammers will be out after storms trying to con Hoosiers by calling it clean-up, repair or rebuilding, AG Rokita says.
“Hoosiers can protect their hard-earned money by asking questions, demanding a written contract, and doing old-fashioned research,” Attorney General Rokita said in a media release. “It can be tempting to accept help to fix damages to your home, but it’s crucial to take a step back and fully vet the contractor.”
Here’s how the scam works. Scammers allegedly will show up on people’s doorsteps, promise to make needed repairs and vanish with the victims’ down-payments in their pockets — never to return to do the work.
Attorney General Rokita shares the following tips to help Hoosiers avoid falling victim to storm-chasing scammers:
- Be skeptical of people promising immediate clean-up and debris removal.
- Know that FEMA doesn’t charge application fees. If someone wants money to help you qualify for FEMA funds, that’s probably a scam.
- Check out contractors’ reputations before enlisting their services.
- Ask for IDs, licenses, and proof the contractor is both bonded and insured.
- Get more than one estimate for work.
- Don’t believe any promises that aren’t in writing.
- Never pay by wire transfer, gift card, cryptocurrency, or in cash.
- Don’t pay the full amount for the project up front.
If you believe you’ve been scammed, file a complaint at indianaconsumer.com or call Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office at 1-800-382-5516.