Unlicensed contractors flock to disaster areas, making big promises and charging even bigger prices. Here are ways to help you spot and avoid clean-up and repair scams.
- Check them out. Before you pay anyone to do any work, ask for IDs, licenses, and proof of insurance. Don’t believe any promises that aren’t in writing.
- Never pay by wire transfer, gift card, cryptocurrency, or in cash. And never make the final payment until the work is done and you’re satisfied.
- Guard your personal information. Only scammers will say they’re a government official and then demand money or your credit card, bank account, or Social Security number.
- Know that FEMA doesn’t charge application fees. If someone wants money to help you qualify for FEMA funds, that’s probably a scam.
- Watch out for rental listing scams. Avoid people who tell you to wire money or ask for security deposits or rent before you’ve met or signed a lease.
- Bookmark Dealing with Weather Emergencies. If a weather event or disaster affects you, come back to this page for more advice on recovery and information about your rights.
- Spread the word. Share the FTC’s Picking Up the Pieces after a Disasterinfographic and social media image in your community.