Scam artists often use severe weather as an opening for theft and fraud. Arkansas officials urge the state’s residents to be on guard against potential scams in the aftermath of recent storms and flooding.
Common scams include workers showing up uninvited and offering to clean up debris or make repairs to homes or other property. The con artists will ask for payment before doing the work, and once they receive payment, they leave and never complete the job.
Another common technique is calling a resident and pretending to be a government official offering aid. Often, the con artists can mask their telephone number to make the number appear to be legitimately from a government agency, but in order to steal someone’s identity, the con artists ask for bank account and other personal information. Government officials stress that they never initiate a call and ask for personal information such as bank accounts.
"Residents who have suffered through a severe weather event, such as a flood, are extremely vulnerable to scams. We encourage all residents to be informed and cautious if approached with offers of aid or for work to be done," said Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Director David Maxwell.
To report a complaint, contact local law enforcement agents or call the Arkansas Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-482-8982.