LINCOLN – Home repair and cleanup frauds are especially common after a natural disaster hits. Unfortunately, these storms tend to attract con artists and criminals who are hoping to take advantage of distressed homeowners. It's important to be very careful about hiring anyone to work on your home.
During past storms, consumers have reported heartbreaking stories of paying large sums of money upfront to get a construction job started, only to receive nothing in return or subpar service. In most reports received by the office, a scammer knocks on someone’s door shortly following a natural disaster and uses high-pressure sales tactics to trick the consumer into signing a contract. The contract requires a large upfront fee, often in cash, to be paid before the work begins. Many of these individuals aren’t even contractors at all; they are scam artists who travel from town-to-town, taking money for work and underperforming or not performing at all, then moving on before any money can be recovered.
The best way to protect yourself from frauds and scams after a natural disaster is to stay alert and be cautious. The following information will help you understand what to look for and how to stay away from the most common post-disaster scams.
If you suspect these scams are occurring in your neighborhood, promptly notify local law enforcement and contact the Nebraska Consumer Protection Division at ago.nebraska.gov or call us at 800-727-6432.