Don't be victimized twice. Unfortunately, there are sales people offering cleanup and repair services who go door-to-door through damaged neighborhoods taking advantage of people during difficult times. While many of these people are honest and reputable, some are not. Educate yourself against unscrupulous operators and avoid becoming a victim of disaster fraud.
When someone comes to your door offering their services, consult the following checklist before you act:
- Get more than one estimate. Don't be pushed into signing a contract right away.
- Get everything in writing. Cost, work to be done, time schedule, guarantees, payment schedule, and other expectations should be detailed.
- Demand references and check them out.
- Ask to see the salesperson's driver's license and write down the number. Also, take down the license plate number of their vehicle.
- Never sign a contract with blanks. Unscrupulous contractors may enter unacceptable terms later.
- Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is completed.
Insurance coverage may be rendered void if intentional misrepresentation by a policyholder is discovered.
A catastrophe greatly magnifies the opportunity for fraud and abuse. Don't be tempted to conspire in an insurance claim. Insurance fraud is a felony.
If you suspect fraudulent activity call the National Insurance Crime Bureau 24 hour hotline:
This information on avoiding disaster fraud was provided by the NICB.