Hurricane Ian Scams
Hurricane Ian has unfortunately brought a number of scams that you should be aware of to protect yourself. Here are the top five scams to watch out for:
1. Upfront Payments
Be wary of contractors who ask for full payment before any work is done. It’s normal for some contractors to require a deposit, but make sure you have a contract in place that clearly outlines the work to be done and the payment schedule. Obtain a total cost estimate before agreeing to any work.
2. Unlicensed Contractors
When hiring someone for roof repairs or tree removal, make sure they are licensed, insured, and bonded. This ensures that you will get your money back if the job is not completed and that any property damage or injury claims will be covered by insurance. You can check a contractor’s license at MyFloridaLicense.com.
3. Price Gouging
This is the practice of charging inflated prices for essential items like food and housing during a crisis. If you suspect that a business is engaging in price gouging, you can report it by downloading the No Scam app on your smartphone, visiting MyFloridaLegal.com, or calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.
4. Digital Scams
These scams can take many forms, including emails or texts that purport to be from government agencies such as FEMA. Remember that any legitimate government website will have a dot-gov address, and never click on links in unsolicited messages. Also, be careful not to give out personal information like your Social Security number in response to unsolicited texts, calls, or emails.
5. Rental Scams
Even before Hurricane Ian, these scams were an issue, so be cautious when looking for rental properties. Make sure to sign a contract before sending any money, and do your research to ensure that the rental is legitimate. Consider touring the property in person and remember that if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. To protect yourself from these and other scams, be sure to do your research and consider consulting a lawyer before signing any contracts. Remember that the internet can be a helpful resource for researching businesses, and never hesitate to ask for legal advice if you have any concerns.
Questions? We Can Help You.
At Murray Law Group, we want to help make sure you are protected not only from your insurance company but those that try to take advantage of you when you have a claim. If you have any questions about your claim or the rebuilding process, schedule a free consultation today. We make sure the insurance company keeps its promise to you and that you are able to rebuild after the claim.