Monday, February 24, 2014

Consumer Beware! - after a natural disaster

Consumer Beware!

Its understandable to want to quickly get back on your feet after a disaster. During your recovery process, be careful to avoid another financial hit in the form of scams. Unfortunately natural disasters often bring out con artists and those looking to take advantage of disaster survivors. Consumer beware! Home repair scams and charitable donations are some of the ways criminals can target you.

Here are a few tips to avoid a home repair scam after a natural disaster:

Hire known and recommended repair companies;
Get at least two estimates from different companies;
Get all agreements in writing;
Make a full payment only when the terms of the contract are met.

In response to disaster, charities often form to help those affected. Not all charities are reputable. Before you donate, follow these tips:

Research the organization and their purpose;
Do not give cash;
Write a check or money order to the organization, not the individual collecting for the organization; and
Do not provide personal information to anyone soliciting contributions.
Protect yourself, your family and your finances. Contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection to report scams or fraud in your area.

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