Colorado Attorney General John Suthers warns individuals that scams are on the rise following the devastating wildfires of the past few weeks. People are receiving robocall solicitations asking them to donate money to a “charity” purportedly helping the wildfire victims. And con artists are going door-to-door collecting for alleged relief agencies. The attorney general said the types of scams include not only fake charity collections but also home repair and construction fraud.
Suthers said that after natural disasters, scam artists posing as door-to-door repairmen, contractors or handymen will pressure consumers into signing up for alleged “great deals” on home repairs. He advises to check with the Better Business Bureau and ask for written contracts and references.
Insurance fraud is another common problem following this type of disaster. Most insurance companies employ or contract for their own adjusters to evaluate property damage and assist in filing claims. But in Colorado, consumers can also hire their own adjusters to help negotiate insurance payments. According to Suthers, some unscrupulous “public” adjusters will charge an exorbitant fee for their services and then disappear. Others refer homeowners to disreputable contractors from whom they get kickbacks leaving the homeowner with shoddy repairs.
Consumers are urged to report deceptive practices by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Complaint Line at 800-222-4444 or filing an online report at www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov. Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies is also available to assist at 303-894-7490 or 800-930-3745 or online at www.askdora.colorado.gov.