The two major scams to BE ON THE LOOKOUT for include the following:
1) HOME REPAIR SCAMS
- Use only LOCAL home repair companies.
- DO NOT use out-of state repair people (unless friends orrelatives).
- Ask repair people for REFERENCES. Check the references.
- Carefully control purchase of repair materials. Ask for receipts.
- Be wary if repair people ask for large payment in advance.
- Be Alert and report if a contractor states he will assist you in obtaining a FEMA construction loan. FEMA does not give loans. They give grants in varying amounts.
2) CHARITY SCAMS
- False “Storm victim donations” scams may begin in this area.
- We encourage you to support actual victims, BUT PLEASE donate only to reputable charities.
- If someone calls asking for donations, DO NOT give your CREDIT CARD number over the phone!!
- When in doubt, ask if you can donate clothes, cleaning supplies, etc. instead of cash.
FOR MORE INFORMATION YOU MAY CALL :
- To see if a repair person has a valid Home Improvement Contractor License:
- Call the City of Columbus Building Inspections Office at 614-645-6083
- To see if a repair person has had complaints made about their work :
- Call the Better Business Bureau : 614-486-6336 or 1-800-759-2400
- To report fraud, waste or abuse related to FEMA claims:
- Call FEMA (toll free) : 1-800-323-8603
- If you have information concerning a scam that is going on now:
- Please contact City of Columbus, Division of Police Fraud and Forgery Unit 614-645-4751