Arkansas AG issues warning about post-storm scams

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT)- Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is warning residents about post-storm scams following the ice and snow storms this week.

Arkansas residents may look for contractors to repair damage, trim trees or remove debris from their home and unfortunately some contractors may try to take advantage of those who have damage to their property.

"I think it's a perfect opportunity for scam artists," said Sheriff Larry Mills with Poinsett County. "Then they come in and they seize the opportunity to try to rip people off and take their money and then not do the work."

Mills suggest you treat the work around your home like your vehicle.

"Most people aren't going to take an investment such as a vehicle and take to one lace for repairs and take it someplace where they don't know anything about the people or the company," he said.

As consumers, Mills said they are a lot of ways to avoid being a victim of a scam.

"The number one thing is to make sure whoever you're dealing with is a reputable company and there's no better advertisement than word of mouth," he said.

The Better Business Bureau is a good resource to check a company's history.

"Instead of one, get three estimates and the number one thing that I think is the most important is don't ever pay up front," Mills said. "Never pay in advance, when the work is done and you're satisfied with the work then you make a payment."

Mills also suggests asking for a some sort of documentation and get everything in writing.

"Instead of getting something verbal, get something in writing and then you got that to make a comparison with," he said.

Mills can only recall getting one complaint in the past when it comes to a company offering services following a storm.

"We haven't had to deal with a lot of scams with regards to storm damage and I hope we don't this time," he said.

Common Scams and How to Avoid Them:

If you think you've been a victim of a scam or fraud, click here to file a consumer complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General's office:

You can also call 1-800-482-8982

To file a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General's office, click here:

You can also call 1-800-392-8222

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