Scammers prey on area flood victims

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As price gouging rules have gone into effect, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is advising Iowa flood victims to be cautious of scams.

According to the office of the Iowa Attorney General, residents in counties proclaimed disaster areas by Governor Branstad need to be aware of potential scams.

Miller said contractors will come to flood victims’ doors or call and try to convince people to hire them for flood-cleanup and repair work. He advises flood victims keep the following in mind:

  • Be wary of contractors who show up at your door. If you hire a contractor, use an established and reputable business. Local is best.
  • Check out and interview contractors. Do some research on the contractor you’ve chosen before signing a contract or paying any money. You can check complaints with the attorney general’s office, 515-281-5926 or 888-777-4590, and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Get written estimates, choose the best, and get a contract in writing. Before agreeing to have work done, request a written contract detailing what will be done, how much it will cost, and how long the project will take.
  • Negotiate insurance claims directly with your insurance company. Don’t go through your contractor. Make sure your insurance provider will cover the cost of repairs before signing a contract.
  • If you sign a contract somewhere other than the contractor’s place of business, you have three days to cancel without penalty.