Avoid Home Repair and Charity Scams

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