Texas AG warns of scams following floods

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is warning people about the potential for scams as communities around the state start to rebuild.

Paxton met with leaders in Hays County Monday and toured the damage.

"Unfortunately in past disasters we have seen patterns of the first disaster followed by a second disaster in the form of shady individuals perpetrating scams and fraud," said Paxton.

The AG's office has already received eight complaints of price gouging in the Houston area following flooding.

Back in Wimberley Joli Fine is making sure her neighbors know about the potential for scams. She helped start the Central Texas Flooding Anti-Scammers page. Fine's home was spared but some of her neighbors lost everything.

"It's heartbreaking and really sad after they have lost everything and losing the potential for recovery," said Fine. Several law enforcement officials are part of the Facebook group. She's pleased the AG's office is paying close attention.

"In Texas the Attorney General's office is a voice for the victim whether that is for a crime or a storm and sometimes that's both," said Paxton.

Paxton cautioned people to be weary of people selling services door to door especially people who come in from outside the area.

"I've heard of people going door to door to get personal information like driver's licenses so be careful," said Tommy Prudhomme who serves as the chief over the consumer protection department in the AG's office.

Paxton wants people to ask questions, check references and check with the Better Business Bureau.

Fine hopes law enforcement and the power of social media will prevail as her community heals.

"My heart is broken for everyone and now we have to deal with anger on this emotional roller coaster and it's not fair," said Fine.

Early Monday there were reports of people walking around possible impersonating FEMA representatives. Hays County officials say there are legitimate FEMA contractors visiting people who have already registered for assistance. Contractors will have photo identification and the badge will read DHS and FEMA contractor.

If you believe something is suspicious call law enforcement. The AG's hotline number is 1-800-252-8011.


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