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ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN URGES RESIDENTS TO SEEK FEMA HELP
Madigan warns homeowners of storm chasers exploiting water damage
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today encouraged residents of communities impacted by this summer’s heavy rains and flooding to seek help for property damage at area Disaster Recovery Centers.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recovery centers are able to assist homeowners struggling with water damage. The newest of its centers is the Austin Area Disaster Recovery Center, 4905 W. North Ave., Chicago. To find a Disaster Recovery Center, visit https://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/drcLocator.jsp or call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585.
Last month FEMA designated $35 million in assistance for residents in the following counties: Carroll, Cook, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago.
Attorney General Madigan added a warning to residents to be on alert for scam artists exploiting damage caused by natural disasters, including some who may be impersonating government representatives. “Storm chasers” try to catch desperate homeowners and pressure them into making a quick and often expensive decision.
Media reports in the wake of previous major storms and tornadoes indicated that consumers were called by someone falsely claiming to be associated with FEMA and requesting bank account information from the consumer that would assist with the repair of their storm-damaged home.
Madigan urged consumers to alert her office and local law enforcement if suspicious storm chasers solicit the area and offered these tips to protect against dishonest contractors:
contractors to furnish customers with written contracts for any repair or remodeling work costing more than $1,000. A contract must be signed by both the customer and the contractor.
The law also requires contractors to carry at least minimum amounts of insurance for property damage, bodily injury and improper home repair. Contractors also must provide consumers with an informational pamphlet entitled “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights.”
For additional information on how to avoid consumer scams, visit www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov. If consumers suspect storm chasers are attempting to scam residents in their area, Attorney General Madigan urged them to call the Consumer Fraud Hotline: