Scams Are Heating Up as Waldo Canyon Fire Continues

7/2/2012

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Your Better Business Bureau is advising the public to be aware of all scams related to the Waldo Canyon Fire. This is a time when our community is especially vulnerable and all of us must be aware of how to stay safe and how to help.

As with most natural disasters, criminals come out of the woodwork to rip off those who are in an especially vulnerable situation.

To avoid making a bad situation worse, your BBB has the following tips:
  • Before you do any repairs, check with your insurance carrier.
  • Check with your BBB at www.southerncolorado.bbb.org to make sure the business/contractor is legitimate.
  • If you do make a decision to hire a contractor, be sure to read everything carefully before signing. Many times a contractor will ask the consumer to sign a statement agreeing to an inspection. However, the fine print states that the consumer is actually signing a contract and is then committed to that contractor.
  • This is definitely NOT the time to consider contractors who come door-to-door.
  • Get at least three bids.
  • Be very wary if you are approached by a company offering services. You are much safer doing your own research and selecting a company that has been thoroughly investigated.
An additional note of caution: consumers should be the ones to solicit bids from all contractors.

The American Red Cross - Pikes Peak Chapter does not solicit donations by phone, through door-to-door representatives or via email. If you would like to help, please, go to www.pparc.org. This is the most effective way to donate to the efforts of this vital organization.

Finally, remember, do not give any money – especially cash – to anyone you do not know, or any business you have not thoroughly researched.
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