Copied from Better Business Bureau email to me in order to share with my neighbors from Key West, Florida, to Tampa, to Pensacola, Mobile, Gulfport, New Orleans to Houston...
BBB® warns of scammers exploiting oil spill
As the Gulf Coast prepares for the potential impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, your Better Business Bureau Serving Northwest Florida is warning consumers to be on the lookout for scammers looking to take advantage of the situation.
Already, scammers have been reported trying to convince consumers to pay for “volunteer training;” local officials are offering training for those who want to volunteer to help with cleanup efforts at no charge.
One local law enforcement office is reporting rumors of contractors trying to sell some type of chemically-treated beds to cover beaches and other at-risk property to absorb oil. As with any purchase or contract, BBB urges consumers to do their homework before signing a contract or making a purchase.
Get a free BBB Reliability Report (start with bbb.org) to check a business’ history and complaint activity.
Be wary of out-of-state contractors who only provide a cell phone number or don’t provide any local contact information.
Verify the contractor has any and all appropriate licensing, bonding, registration and insurance. BBB verifies this information before accrediting any of its BBB Accredited Businesses so consumers can request a list of all Accredited Businesses within a particular industry free-of-charge. Consumers can also check a business’ history through Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (www.800helpfla.com) or the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (www.myfloridalicense.com).
Don’t take the first offer that comes along. Get several quotes from reliable businesses and make sure the quotes are for the same work. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush to repair your property as soon as possible, but taking the time to do research and make a wise buying decision can save consumers a great deal of hassle later on.
If consumers think they’ve been approached by a scammer, they can report the fraudulent activity to the FBI’s National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866.720.5712 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Fraudulent activity may take many forms beyond those mentioned above. For example, individuals may claim to be raising money for environmental causes or offer fraudulent services pertaining to the oil spill, such as remediation services. Others may submit false insurance claims for property damage.
For additional information and advice you can trust to make wise buying decisions, start with bbb.org. Super Technologies, Inc. and our DIDXchange is a member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating since 2002.
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