OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Attorney General is warning Oklahomans of fraud and scams in wake of recent severe weather.
Attorney General Mike Hunter said severe weather events bring out fraudulent activity and caution Oklahomans to be aware of potential fraud.
“Having a physical presence with agents on the ground, we will be able to warn individuals in person, which will hopefully raise more awareness about potential fraud,” Hunter said. “It is unfortunate, but scammers wait for significant weather events to prey upon individuals.
Agents with Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s Consumer Protection Unit are in Elk City today to visit with home and business owners who were impacted by severe weather this week.
“I encourage individuals to seek out agents to get information on how to avoid potential scams. Additionally, individuals or companies that come to the state looking to defraud Oklahomans, need to be made aware that my office will prosecute for any crimes committed.
“My thoughts and prayers remain with those who were affected by severe weather. With storm season continuing in the state, I encourage Oklahomans to have a plan in place to keep their families safe.”
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit offers the following tips to avoid contractor fraud:
- Ask for referrals from people you trust and for references from contractors;
- Avoid fly-by-night companies and use local companies established in the community;
- Obtain written estimates from multiple contractors;
- Ensure roofers are registered with the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board by calling (405) 521-6550 or check the online database.
- Be cautious of door-to-door solicitation, contractors who ask for a substantial up-front payment or request cash payment, use high pressure or aggressive sales tactics or resist the use of a written contract;
- Do not give out bank account information, social security or driver’s license numbers;
- If contractors identify themselves with a federal or state government agency, ask for credentials and call the agency they claim to be with.