Madison County officials warn residents of potential scams in wake of flood
Chairman Alan Dunstan, State’s Attorney Thomas Gibbons and Sheriff John Lakin were among the Madison County officials warning residents affected by the flood to be on the lookout for scam artists.
The officials mentioned that those offering to sell cleanup and repair services are potential scam artists, deceiving residents out of money and significantly overcharging.
“Throughout the county, residents have been negatively impacted by the excessive rainfall,” Dunstan said. “As the flood waters recede, thousands of residents will have their hands full with repairing and cleaning up their homes and property. Unfortunately, con artists quickly move into a troubled area after a disaster.”
Scams occur after scenarios like the county’s flooding event, when someone pretends to be a contractor or service provider, requests payment upfront and then never actually provides any services. Some scam artists will even claim government status, demanding personal information they might then use for identity theft.
“Unfortunately, after a disaster, scam artists will try to take advantage of people who are in dire need of help and want repairs made as soon as possible,” Dunstan said. “Elderly residents are particularly vulnerable to such scams.”
Dunstan, Gibbons and Lakin offered a few tips to help residents stay safe: be wary of people coming to the door; demand identification if anyone claims to be a government official; only use local and licensed contractors; safeguard personal information.