Consumer Alert from AG Cooper: Beware Scams That Could Blow into Garner, North Carolina With Hurricane Matthew Skip to main content

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Consumer Alert from AG Cooper: Beware Scams That Could Blow into Garner, North Carolina With Hurricane Matthew

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Hurricane Matthew

Prepare for the storm and scams that follow!

Image Source: Flickr User Don McCullough.

Anytime there’s a natural disaster of any scale, scams follow, and so Garner, North Carolina consumers should be on alert. With Hurricane Matthew slated to strike our state late Saturday or early Sunday, NC consumers should prepare for both events.

This will be the first time a hurricane has hit NC since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and Category 4 Matthew could wreak havoc in the state. It’s wise to get prepared now so you’re not left paying premium prices if the storm does hit hard and there are power outages or other difficulties.

Prepare for the Storm to Come

Be prepared by knowing the recommended evacuation route in case the situation turns bad. But for most North Carolina residents who are staying put, preparing your home is wise. Here are some tips to get you ready in case Matthew shuts things down for a few days:

  • Make sure you have prescriptions refilled enough to last a week or two
  • Make preparations to keep your pets indoors for the duration of the storm
  • Place important papers in a waterproof area.
  • Stock up on canned food and bottled water for drinking.
  • Make sure you can go a few days without power, just in case.
  • Assemble flashlights and glow sticks for night time.
  • Stock up on firewood for your fireplace.
  • Make sure you have warm clothes and blankets on hand.
  • Gas up your vehicles in case you need to evacuate.
  • Have a crank radio or battery-powered radio with spare batteries to hear warnings.

Prepare for the Scams that Will Follow

Attorney General Roy Cooper held a press conference today to warn Garner, North Carolina consumers and other area residents about scams that come with natural disasters such as hurricanes. Cooper warned state residents to be on the lookout for:

  • Price gouging (gas, foodstuffs, repair materials, etc.)
  • Home repair scams
  • Storm preparation scams
  • Charity scams
  • FEMA scams

Cooper promised, “My office will be paying close watch during this state of emergency… unfortunately, some people take advantage of a catastrophe or even approaching storm to line their own pockets.”

Often the scams start before the storm even hits, with fraudsters asking for money up front to board up windows and do other pre-storm prep work. Scammers take the cash and never do the work. After the storm, many will pull the same stunt offering to do repair work.

AG Cooper says to never pay for work up front so you don’t fall for a scam. He also recommends taking photos of all storm damage and submitting claims promptly to your insurance company rather than falling for scammers that knock at your door.

There are also price gouging laws in effect in Garner, North Carolina, and 66 area counties make it illegal for businesses to take advantage of the gas shortage as well as the coming storm. Stay safe this weekend, and be careful of anything resembling a scam.

If you’ve been taken advantage of by a scammer, report it to the North Carolina Department of Justice. If you’re facing a debt storm, contact the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt for assistance. Call +1-888-234-4190 now for a free Garner, North Carolina bankruptcy consultation at one of our locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.

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