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Beware of Scammers Following Harvey’s Path

Posted on 09/30/17 by TheAARPBulletin, AARP Blog Author

Hurricane Harvey had barely stopped howling and Houston was still flooded when officials began hearing complaints of fraud targeting victims of the monster storm’s fury.

Price-gouging claims were common in the days immediately after the storm, but scams involving storm chasers pretending to be roofers, carpenters and other home-repair experts are now prevalent.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) condemned the crimes as “reprehensible” and “unTexan.” Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) warned that price gouging is punishable by fines of up to $20,000 per incident and a $250,000 penalty if a victim is 65 or older.

AARP Texas Director Bob Jackson said it is tragic that many Texans have had to contend with fraudsters while working to restore their lives and communities. He said Texans should work through their insurers to survey damage and always get estimates from approved contractors.

You can report suspected scams to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721, or contact local law enforcement or the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection hotline at 800-621-0508.

Take another step toward beating con artists by joining the AARP Fraud Watch Network at fraudwatchnetwork.org.

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