Telephone Scammers Target Storm Victims In Elk City & Perkins

Tuesday, May 23rd 2017, 11:45 am
By: News 9

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak has advised Oklahomans affected by recent storms to become aware of current scams. 

The Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Division received multiple complaints regarding suspicious phone activity directed toward storm victims, specifically in Elk City and Perkins.

The department indicates scam artists falsely claim to represent several well-known insurance companies, and in some cases, the caller demands to inspect the homeowner’s roof.

Doak reports storm victims can avoid losing money to this scam simply by ending the call. In addition to phone scammers, con artists may also travel door-to-door offering fake goods or services.

Follow these tips to avoid fraud after a disaster:

  • Require references and check them out
  • Only work with licensed and insured contractors
  • Get more than one estimate. Don’t be pushed into signing a contract right away
  • Get everything in writing; cost, work to be done, time schedule, guarantees and payment schedule
  • Ask to see the salesperson’s driver’s license. Write down their license number and plate number.
  • Never sign a contract with blanks. Fraudsters may enter unacceptable terms later.
  • Never pay anyone in full until the work is completed.

These con artists are the lowest of the low, said Doak. They prey on disaster victims at a time when they’re emotionally vulnerable, stressed out and dealing with an unfamiliar situation. By giving customer a heads up, we hope they can better protect themselves.

Consumers concerned about insurance fraud are encouraged to call the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071.