HENDERSON, Ky (WEHT) – The Indiana State Police and the National Insurance Crime Bureau issued a warning for residents of Sullivan County impacted by the tornado to be on the look out for contractor fraud scams.
Officials with the NICB provided the following tips to help avoid contractor fraud:
- Get more than one estimate, and never let a contractor pressure you into hiring them.
- Work only with licensed and insured contractors.
- Demand references and check them.
- Ask to see the salesperson’s drivers license and write down the drivers license number and their vehicle’s license plate number.
- Get a contract in writing, including cost, time schedules, payment schedules, guarantees, work to be done and other expectations that should be detailed.
- Never sign a contract with blanks as these could be filled in later without your knowledge.
- Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is done and ensure reconstruction is up to current code.
If homeowners suspect fraud during the rebuilding process, they are advised to contact their insurer, law enforcement and the NICB at 1-800-TEL-NICB. Along with reports of fraudulent disaster relief workers, there is also the threat of looting and thefts in the affected areas as well. If you observe individuals removing items from properties where they do not belong, contact law enforcement.