Beware of Flood Damage Scams

Record floods have led to disaster proclamations being issued in 34 Illinois counties this Spring. On June 18, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul warned residents not to fall for flood- damage scams and asked them to contact the Attorney General’s office to report fraudulent activities. Those worried about these scams could also contact the Better Business Bureau to find out if complaints have been made against a specific contractor, and should be wary of any individual who solicits home repair or insurance adjusting services door-to-door.

For those concerned that they may be interacting with a scammer, there are a few simple things that they can do to protect themselves.

Ask to see a permit before entering into any contract. In Illinois, general contractors are not required by state law to be licensed, but municipalities may require permits or have other local requirements. Insurance adjusters must be licensed by the Illinois Department of Insurance, and roofers must be licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Try to get estimates from multiple contractors and make sure you receive it in writing. Never make a full payment until all work has been completed in good quality. Never pay in cash.

Anyone entering a contract has three days to cancel it if it was signed on the contractor’s visit to their home.