Consumer Column

Protect Yourself This Hurricane Season

BATON ROUGE, LA – With a weather system heading into the Gulf of Mexico and June 1 marking the start of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Attorney General Jeff Landry is reminding Louisiana citizens that scams often follow natural disasters.

“Unfortunately, our State knows all too well the damage that can be caused by natural disasters and the con artists trying to profit off of them,” said General Landry. “So I am encouraging the people of our State to get informed on signs of potential scams and ways to avoid becoming victims of them.”

General Landry urges consumers to consider the following to help avoid common hurricane-related scams:

IDENTITY THEFT: Keep your personal files safe by putting them in a secure, waterproof location such as a safe deposit box or home safe.

HOME REPAIR SCAMS: Confirm potential contractors’ credentials with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors before signing contracts and paying down payments.

PRICE GOUGING: Report non-verifiable market fluctuation price increases of goods and services during states of emergency to your local Sheriff or District Attorney.

PHONY EMERGENCY RESPONSE OFFICIALS: Verify people posing as government officials or insurance adjusters by asking for proper identification. 

FAKE CHARITIES: Before donating, make sure charities are legitimate by checking with General Landry’s Charitable Registration Section at 225-326-6400.

General Landry also encourages all Louisiana residents to visit www.AGJeffLandry.com/EmergencyPreparedness for more helpful resources – especially the contact information for the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), who monitors fraud complaints and assigns them to the appropriate agency for further action. The NCDF Hotline is 866-720-5721.

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Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.