ST. LOUIS (Jefferson County Journal) -- While people are busy cleaning up from flooding two weeks ago, scam artists could be trying to clean up from the flood victims.
Jefferson County Emergency Management Administrator Susan Green is warning flood victims to check out anyone going door-to-door offering clean-up services.
Green said generally scam artists will tell the victim they can get reimbursed for clean up from the federal government and ask the victim for half the money up front to get started. Sometimes the scam artist will do some of the work, or they may never show up to do the job.
"There are no federally funded clean-up operations," she said. "The federal government does not reimburse any company for clean up."
Missouri Department of Insurance Director Doug Ommen released a statement warning flood victims to question any home repair company that submits a bid to complete the work for much less or more than an insurance company's estimates.
If a company's estimate is too low, the quality of materials or workmanship may not be up to par. If it's too high, the company may be price gouging or performing repairs not covered by an insurance policy, he said.
When filling out claims, Ommen recommends calling the insurance company to speak with an adjuster.
Generally, an adjuster will make contact within one to two days, but if the flooding was severe, it could take longer. In the meantime, Ommen said flood victims need to protect their homes from further damage by boarding up windows or cleaning out a clogged drain.
Ommen recommends people take pictures of the damage, provide proof of losses and keep records of any conversations with adjusters.
Authorities warn of flood clean-up scams
April 7, 2008