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Press Release

Department of Safety
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
For Immediate Release: November 1, 2012
Contact: Jim Van Dongen, 603-223-3710

HSEM Warns Of Post-Disaster Scams

CONCORD, NH - NH Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Christopher M. Pope warned New Hampshire property owners Thursday to be wary of scams in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

"Unfortunately, scam operators quickly move in after disasters to prey on people when they are most vulnerable," Pope said. "We urge everyone to avoid giving out personal or financial information to people they don't know and to only deal with reputable, licensed contractors."

Pope offered the following advice to property owners who have suffered storm damage:

  • Ask for identification from anyone who claims to represent FEMA, state agencies, voluntary agencies or insurance companies. State and federal disaster officials work in teams and always carry identification. Insurance policy holders should contact their agent to verify the identity of insurance adjusters.
  • Seek several written bids from contractors and check references. Make sure contractors are licensed in New Hampshire to do the necessary work and that they carry general liability and worker's comp insurance. Only agree to have work done based on written contracts.
  • Avoid dealing with anyone who demands payment in cash or to be paid in advance.
  • Don't give cash to anyone who claims to be collecting for hurricane relief. Make contributions by check through established voluntary agencies.
  • Anyone with questions or complaints should call the Consumer Protection Bureau of the NH Attorney General's Office at 271-3646 or the NH Insurance Department, at 1-800-852-3416.
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