It's sad that we even have to think about this. People are dealing with enough right now, with all of the damage within their homes and possibly having to not only move, but start over from scratch. There are some people who have literally lost everything and can't see a glimmer of hope anywhere.

However, Sheriff Tony Mancuso is warning residents to be cautious of scammers who prey on many during tragic times like these. Many contractors are coming to the area and trying to overbid or scam people out of money many so desperately need right now.

Here are some tips that could possibly help you avoid being scammed:

  • Please be sure to do your research. Ask for identification along with proof of insurance and several references. Ask people you trust for recommendations on companies they have used previously.
  • Get more than one estimate. Make sure to get the estimates in writing and make sure they are detailed about exactly what work will be included. There are times that many contractors will pressure you into making a decision, and you need to be sure before you do.
  • Never pay in full or make a final payment prior to the work being completed. This is a sure case that someone could start a job and leave once payment is made. They could also have you pay upfront, with excuses of needing to buy materials or taking care of their workers. Think twice before you actually make this happen.

If you feel like you have been victimized, please contact the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office at 337-491-3605.

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