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Tennessee Attorney General’s Office Issues Winter Storm Scam Prevention Tips

In wake of January’s winter storm, the Office of the Attorney General has provided the following Winter Storm Scam Prevention Tips. Stay safe, warm, and vigilant of scams this season.

Winter Storm Scam Prevention Tips:

  • Be wary of utility imposters. Utility imposters work year-round but may be especially active following a storm.
    • Scammers may call, email, or text threatening to cut off your service if payment is not made immediately. They may ask you to wire money or pay them with cryptocurrency or gift card. Don’t do it!
    • Scammers might call or knock on your door saying they need to repair or replace equipment—then they’ll ask you to pay. That’s a scam. Don’t pay them.
    • Contact your utility company directly using the contact info on your bill or on the company’s official website. Don’t rely on the number provided by the caller.
  • Hire only licensed contractors. If the winter weather left your home in need of repairs, do your research before hiring a professional.
    • Hire only licensed and insured contractors who will provide you with a written contract. Confirm with the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance that a contractor holds a state license.
    • Never pay in cash. Paying by credit card offers you some protections. Only pay in full after the work is done and you are satisfied with it.
  • Research your vehicle repair options. Care should also be taken when seeking vehicle repairs.
    • Ask for recommendations from people you trust. Utilize resources such as the Better Business Bureau and look for shops that display various certifications like an Automotive Service Excellence seal.
    • Before you arrange to have any work performed, understand how the shop prices its work. Ask for a written estimate that states the shop will contact you for approval before they do any work exceeding a specified amount of time or money.
    • If you need expensive or complicated repairs, or if you have questions about recommended work, consider getting a second opinion.

To view more scam-fighting resources, visit the Division of Consumer Affairs website at:

https://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral/working-for-tennessee/consumer-affairs.html

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