Storm Chaser Scam circulating Indiana

Attorney General Curtis Hill issued a warning for Hoosiers to be aware of scammers targeting unsuspecting homeowners when severe weather strikes.

“When severe weather rips through Indiana, the damage can be significant," Hill said. "In the worst cases, the devastation can be heartbreaking. Many Hoosiers face the stress of out-of-pocket costs to make repairs to personal property. No Hoosier should face the additional nightmare of becoming a victim of fraud.

Residents should take notice of the following tips:

·Do not sign documents or agree to any repair work on the spot during initial contact with someone offering services. Instead, simply obtain the person’s contact information.

·Do not provide access to your home to any stranger offering to perform a free inspection. Among other possible dangers, unethical contractors have been known to secretly cause damage to homes in order to then repair it.

·Do not fall for high-pressure tactics such as the claim that you’ll get the best deal by agreeing to hire a contractor immediately on the spot.

·Consider the possible wisdom of finding your own contractor rather than accepting the services of someone who shows up at your house.

·Research any business or individual offering services. Look for signs of credibility such as official websites. Seek reviews and testimonials from former customers.

·Contact your insurance agency to find out your terms of coverage. Ask whether your insurance company recommends any particular repair company.

·Do not sign over insurance checks directly to repair companies. Rather, obtain the invoices yourself and pay repair companies directly.

·Get multiple quotes. Shop and compare just as you would with any other important consumer decision.

·Avoid letting the emotional toll of a situation influence decisions about repairing or replacing items that are damaged or lost.

Anyone with concerns and those who may have experienced a scam are urged to file a complaint at 1-800-382-5516 or by visiting Indiana's consumer protection webpage.

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