Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Warns Kentuckians about Storm Scams
Attorney General Jack Conway today reminded victims of this week's severe thunderstorms that swept through Kentucky to be aware of scam artists who may try to prey upon their misfortune. The storms spawned at least two tornadoes that destroyed or damaged homes, uprooted trees and caused property damage across the Commonwealth.
"Consumers who need work done quickly to repair storm-damaged homes and property are at risk of falling victim to unscrupulous fly-by-night contractors, also known as "storm chasers," General Conway said. "Common natural disaster scams include outright fraud, shoddy construction, charity scams, impersonating officials and loan scams."
General Conway is urging consumers to report any incidents of possible fraud or shoddy construction work and repair to his Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257. He also encourages consumers needing storm repair work or clean up services to follow these important tips:
- Never pay in advance for labor. Scam artists often take advance payments from consumers and never return to complete the work. If an advance is needed to purchase materials, offer to purchase the materials yourself;
- Use local, reputable contractors for repairs, if possible. If local contractors bring in out-of-town workers, ask who will be responsible for their work if it is not satisfactory;
- Ask if the contractor is licensed, bonded (if required by the city or county), and insured;
- Check unknown companies out with the Better Business Bureau (Louisville/Western KY 1-800-388-2222; Lexington/Eastern KY 1-800-866-6668) or call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division 1-888-432-9257 to see if information is available about the company;
- Demand a written contract. If possible, get estimates from several contractors;
- Be suspicious of unfamiliar, out-of-state vehicles and those who offer repair work at unreasonably low prices. Contact local law enforcement about your suspicions.
For additional information or to file a consumer protection complaint online, visit www.ag.ky.gov.