Industry News

Fed urges flood victims to beware of fraud

Insist on seeing identification if loss verifier charges for inspection

As flood victims across the United States turn their energy and resources to cleaning up, repairing and replacing their damaged property, people with disrupted lives are an easy mark for con artists, according to The Federal Emergency Management Agency. A common scam occurs when a person poses as an inspector or loss verifier of flood-damaged property. Some of these "inspectors" charge a fee for what they do. Some may have official-looking identification that they use to get inside residents' homes. If someone comes to your door and says he or she is with a government agency or utility, insist on seeing identification. If you have any doubts, check with the agency they claim to represent. Beware as well of fraudulent home repair salesmen or contractors. Before replacing an appliance, check to see whether it is usable. Often all that is needed is to clean the item thoroughly. Check with the manufacturer for any special recommendations. A water heater, for example, is a sealed unit...