Attorney general offers consumer tips to victims of Ida

Published 10:29 am Thursday, September 9, 2021

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In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Attorney General Jeff Landry is alerting consumers about home repair scams and other disaster fraud.

“Unfortunately, natural disasters can attract opportunists and scammers hoping to prey on people who are down on their luck,” said Attorney General Landry. “So my office and I are working to help protect Hurricane Ida victims from contractor fraud, fake officials, and other criminal activity.”

As the people of Louisiana begin picking up the pieces after Hurricane Ida, Landry encourages them to review his Consumer Tips for Natural Disaster Victims to take the following precautions:

  • Take many pictures. Photograph your contractor, his vehicle, his license plate, and his credentials.
  • Get multiple estimates. Be certain each bid is on the exact same work, is itemized, and is detailed.
  • Do not agree to large down payment. Know that reputable contractors normally do not require down payments over 25 percent of the total price.
  • Get guarantee in writing. Do not accept verbal agreements and make sure any changes in the contract are also in writing and initialed by both parties.
  • Ask for ID. Verify credentials especially since some con artists portray themselves as government officials or insurance adjusters in order to obtain access into your home.
  • Give carefully. Be wary of charities that arise immediately after a natural disaster and check out other quick tips.
  • Do not pay cash. Whether giving to charity or reimbursing a contractor, pay by check or money order and keep your receipt.

Landry also encourages anyone who suspects fraud to report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud by calling 1-866-720-5721.