Virginia AARP warns of natural disaster scams

Published 9:00 am Monday, August 7, 2023

Over the last month especially, we’ve seen plenty of severe storms roll through Prince Edward County and the surrounding area. But with each storm comes the potential for scams. AARP’s Virginia chapter has released a warning, asking people to be careful of natural disaster scams as we head further into the ‘dog days’ of summer.

Following extreme weather events, dubious contractors and outright scammers descend on affected communities, offering quick, cheap fixes. They canvas neighborhoods in search of “work” that they may or may not even attempt to do. Many will specifically target older homeowners who they perceive as more likely to have savings.

It’s safest to only trust contractors that you proactively reach out to. Also, regardless of who you are talking to, get written estimates and compare bids from multiple contractors before starting any work. Finally, pay no more than a third of the total cost prior to the work beginning – and then only when materials arrive.