Tags: Con-Artists | Will | Target | Hurricane | Katrina's | Victims

Con-Artists Will Target Hurricane Katrina's Victims

Thursday, 01 September 2005 12:00 AM

In fact, thousands and thousands of homes, apartments and businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, as well as in other states, suffered considerable structural damage.

There will be, unfortunately, countless crooks and bunco artists looking to take advantage of these suffering homeowners by conning them with shoddy home repairs (or by taking upfront money and doing nothing at all).

At the start of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, which many experts correctly forecast to be above average in storm frequency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a hurricane scam alert.

According to the FBI, beware of the home repair rip-off artists who follow in the wake of these tropical storms.

Home repair crooks swoop in after hurricanes, not to mention other natural disasters, and prey on homeowners desperate to get their lives back to normal. These criminals know that many legitimate companies are booked for months after major disasters and that some frustrated homeowners won't do their homework before signing on the dotted line.

How do these crooks operate? Here are just two examples:

Sadly, home repair scams cost unsuspecting Americans billions of dollars a year. Crooks often target seniors, low-income families, and other innocent consumers.

So how can you protect yourself? Here are some tips from the FBI:

For more information, log on to www.fbi.gov.

My final thoughts: not only do these principles apply to hurricane damages but also to repairs needed because of other natural disasters such as tornados, wildfires and floods. As the FBI says: be crime smart when it comes to home repair work. Ask lots of questions, do your homework, and remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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In fact, thousands and thousands of homes, apartments and businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, as well as in other states, suffered considerable structural damage. There will be, unfortunately, countless crooks and bunco artists looking to take...
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Thursday, 01 September 2005 12:00 AM
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