Duluth warns public of possible scams in wake of floods

By KBJR News 1

Duluth warns public of possible scams in wake of floods

June 26, 2012 Updated Jun 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- The Duluth police warn that due to the recent floods, people should be on guard for possible scams.

Police say that natural disasters are a reason for con artists to move in hoping for desperate people to let their guard down.

Although there have not been any scam related complaints yet, officials have been proactive in making the public aware of the potential for fraud and some methods to avoid being victimized.

Police say that all scams begin with an unsolicited visit from someone purporting to be a contractor.

Be suspicous if the contractor:
-Provides hasty qutoe on big job or lowball offer
-Demands cash, full payment, or a high up-front percentage
-Has no physical address or identification
-Uses pressure tactics and limited-time offers
-Offers you under-the-table deals such as a discount for cash
-Refuses to provide a written contract or a written guarnatee

Practices to avoid being scammed:
-Obtain the contractor's business name and contractor license number
-Ask for references
-Get a written contract which includes all the contractor's contact information, details of all the work to be done, and any guarantees
-Research the contractor