Consumers recovering from flood damage should watch for clean-up, home repair & construction scams; price gouging
(DES MOINES, Iowa) Attorney General Tom Miller reminds Iowans who sustained flood damage to be wary of consumer scams that could target them.
Consumers should be wary of clean-up, home repair and construction contractors, especially those who seek business door-to-door and ask for advance payment.
Key Advice for Consumers Recovering from Flood Damage
- Seek several written estimates from contractors you know are reputable.
- Get a detailed written contract that discloses all costs before the work starts.
- Don’t pay a large amount of money in advance to a contractor you don't know.
State regulations make price gouging illegal for those counties where a disaster declaration is in effect. (Price gouging is defined in the Attorney General's Administrative Rule as raising prices unreasonably above the price at which the merchandise or service was sold in the usual course of business immediately prior to the onset of the emergency. The rule, which applies during the emergency declaration and "subsequent recovery period" up to six months, recognizes that prices may be higher because sellers also often incur increased costs.)
Consumers should contact the Consumer Protection Division if they have consumer complaints about questionable contractors or about price-gouging:
- Web: www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov
- Phone: 515-281-5926 (toll-free number outside of the Des Moines area: 888-777-4590)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For past consumer alerts, click here.