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Scam targeting flood victims

Price gouging a concern

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 8, 2016) — Attorney General Andy Beshear today issued a scam alert to warn Kentuckians of con artists who are looking to profit from recent flooding. Heavy storms have caused flood damage to homes and property in many Kentucky counties, causing Gov. Matt Bevin to declare a state of emergency.

Today, Beshear requested the governor implement the price gouging statute through an executive order consistent with Kentucky law. Beshear and Bevin worked together on a price gouging executive order to protect consumers during a winter storm that hit the Bluegrass in January.

Beshear said today’s order will allow his office to investigate and prosecute those who inflate the price of gasoline, generators, building supplies and other necessary goods and services during the statewide emergency.

Beshear asks those impacted by natural disasters to be on the lookout for con artists who:

  • Demand full payment up front or in cash.
  • Do not have a physical business address.
  • Refuse to show proper identification.
  • Ask consumers to disclose personal financial information to “speed up payment” or to start the repair or lending process.
  • Ask consumers to borrow money to pay for the repairs, or steers consumers toward a particular lender or tries to act as an intermediary between the consumer and a lender.
  • Ask consumers to sign documents without reviewing them.

Kentuckians are encouraged to research reviews of businesses online and confirm any potential issues with the Better Business Bureau (Louisville/Western KY 800-388-2222, Lexington/Eastern KY 800-866-6668). Consumers can also check the Secretary of State’s website to verify the business is registered and is in good standing.

Beshear encourages anyone with possible information regarding fraudulent activity targeting flood victims to report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection hotline at 888-432-9257.

One of Beshear’s top priorities is to protect Kentucky consumers, especially seniors from scams, abuse and exploitation. To help Kentuckians stay up-to-date on new and trending scams, Beshear launched Scam Alerts – a communication service that alerts Kentuckians when con artists are on the attack. To sign up for Scam Alerts, text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311). Or, enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.