Watch for storm scams

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by BILL MCGINTY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on April 29, 2014 at 6:03 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NBC Charlotte just received this information below from the North Carolina Department of Justice. It's important to keep this in mind if your neighborhood experiences storm damage.

Watch out for fake FEMA agents and disaster scams. Strong storms have hit parts of North Carolina recently with more forecasted for this week. Unfortunately, crooks often follow in the wake of bad weather.

According to local law enforcement, teams of thieves posing as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employees have recently approached some residents in areas hit by storms.  One talks to the homeowner, outside if possible, while the other asks to use the restroom or finds another excuse to be allowed inside. While the first thief is talking, the second is stealing valuables or confidential personal information like Social Security or bank account numbers.

In other variations of this distraction theft, crooks may pretend to be law enforcement officers, utility workers, or just someone who was passing by and began feeling ill. Whenever someone you don’t know asks to enter your home unescorted be suspicious.

And when disaster strikes, remember these tips to keep from being victimized.
If you spot a scam, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.
 
You can also check Contractors by using www.bbb.org.
 

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