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Posted on: September 20, 2018

Avoiding Scammers During Hurricane Recovery

Repairs at the Storm

The City of Jacksonville is urging Citizens to be mindful of potential scams during the Hurricane Florence recovery period. Natural disasters often bring out the best of people when neighbors help neighbors, but unfortunately, some unscrupulous individuals may seek to take advantage of people in their time of need. Scammers will also try take advantage of those wanting to help others. Please follow these tips to avoid being taken advantage of during this time of recovery.

  • Do not give out personal information to people who walk up to your house wanting to help. Always research those offering assistance, ask for a quote, get several estimates, ask for credentials, get a contract in writing, and pay with a credit card instead of cash. If possible, use a contractor recommended by family or friends.
  • Challenge anyone who comes to your door wanting to help or wanting your information. Legitimate contractors and government agencies will not hesitate to show credentials, permits, or a license.
  • If you have to rebuild or make major repairs, know that a permit is required in most cases. The City of Jacksonville is waiving the fee for hurricane related repair permits until November 1, 2018. Having a permit helps ensure that the individual doing the repair is licensed and will do the work correctly. Call or visit City Hall for information on permits: 910 938-5232.
  • City of Jacksonville employees are continuing an assessment of the damage and are in City vehicles and have identification. If in doubt, call City Hall at 910 938-5200.
  • FEMA is not yet on the ground in Onslow County. FEMA agents will not go to your door and ask for personal information. They will go out in mass to collect general information. For more information, call 1-800-621-FEMA.
  • Charity scams involve people or organizations asking for money to assist with disaster recovery but the money received is kept instead of being spent on recovery.  We strongly urge you to consider assisting local charities that demonstrate good practices all year long. Many churches, local civic clubs and others are also helping with relief efforts.
  • If you feel you are a victim of a disaster recovery scam, call the NC Department of Justice at 1 877 5-NO-SCAM to file a complaint.

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