BATON ROUGE, LA – Hurricane season officially starts
today, but Attorney General Jeff Landry today is reminding Louisiana citizens
that it is never too early to be prepared.
“Hurricane season can be a devastating time in Louisiana with damage caused not only by Mother Nature but also by con artists trying to profit from the storms,” said Attorney General Landry. “So I encourage the people of our State to prepare for hurricanes and to learn about natural disaster scams.”
Attorney General Landry encourages consumers to consider the following when preparing for the 2021 Hurricane Season:
The Plan. Become
familiar with evacuation routes and shelter locations.
- Protect Documents. Keep important documents in a safe place and consider creating password-protected digital copies.
- Be Covered. Review insurance policies, confirm they are current, and update if necessary.
- Do Preventive Maintenance. Declutter drains and gutters, install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups, and ensure hurricane shutters are operable.
- Plan Ahead. Maintain necessary supplies for at least three days and keep in mind each family member's specific needs, including the needs of pets.
- Prep Your Vehicle. Have cars in good working condition; and when hurricane is near, keep gas tanks full and vehicles stocked with emergency supplies and changes of clothes.
- Communicate. Develop a communications plan with family members if power is lost and remember that text messages may be more reliable and faster than phone calls during disasters.
Attorney General Landry also warns consumers of the following scams often attempted in the aftermath of hurricanes and offers tips to help combat them:
- Identity Theft. Safeguard personal information in the event of an evacuation. Bring sensitive personal documents or put them in a secure, waterproof location.
- Home Repair Claims. Check credentials with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors and contractor’s insurance company. Get at least three written estimates and make sure each contractor bids on exactly the same work. Do not agree to a large down payment. Get a contract in writing and keep a copy of it in a safe place. Take a selfie with your contractor. Pay by check or money order and keep all receipts.
- Price Gouging. Report non-verifiable market fluctuation price increases of goods and services during states of emergency to local law enforcement.
- Phony Emergency Response Officials. Verify people posing as government officials or insurance adjusters by asking for proper identification.
- Fake Charities. Do not donate to any charity that asks for cash or wired donations and does not provide proof contribution would be tax-deductible. Beware of scammers who create fake charities during natural disasters.
Attorney General Landry also urges everyone who believes they or someone they know has fallen victim to a hurricane scam to please report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721 or www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.