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News Release

For Immediate Release
March 4, 2010

Senior Assistant Attorney General James T. Boffetti
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
(603) 271-3643

Storm Cleanup/Repair Scams

Attorney General Michael Delaney today issued an advisory to New Hampshire residents to be wary of anyone who comes to a residence offering storm cleanup or storm repair services. In the wake of the recent windstorm, thousands of New Hampshire citizens were left with significant damage to their property, with the need, in some cases, for expensive cleanup and repair. "Unfortunately," said Delaney, "there are always unscrupulous individuals who devise scams to take advantage of people in need and to profit from someone else's loss."

The Attorney General advises citizens to exercise caution when someone knocks on your door or calls you offering their services. People who engage in these types of scams are more prone to prey on elderly citizens. If you have an elderly family member or neighbor, please be attentive to their situation and provide assistance to them in finding a reputable business.

The Attorney General reminds people to watch for certain indications that an attempted scam may be happening, including:

  • Check that the contractor's vehicle has signs or markings on it with the business name and phone number;
  • Do not pay cash up front for a job. Be very wary of a contractor asking for payment "up front";
  • Do not provide social security, credit card or banking information to anyone who calls on the phone or who comes to your home unannounced;
  • Do not write a check to an individual, it should be made out to a verified and reputable business;
  • If the contractor is pressuring you saying he or she is going to "give you a good deal if you pay right now" and you are feeling any sense of unease, end your contact with that person and contact your local police department.

According to the NH Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, if a contractor comes to your door and claims that you will be reimbursed by FEMA for the cleanup monies, this is not true. The assessment of the damage from this storm is just getting underway and yard cleanup for individual citizens is not usually reimbursed.

Resources for finding someone to assist you with storm cleanup and repair include:

  • Call 2-1-1;
  • Check with your Better Business Bureau – (603) 224-1991;
  • Senior citizens can call ServiceLink at 1-866-634-9412.

If you have a concern about a person who is in your neighborhood, claiming to be a contractor, contact your local police department or the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau of the Attorney General's office at 1-888-468-4454 or (603) 271-3643.

New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658