FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, M - As the state awaits Isaac, Attorney General Jim Hood is reminding Mississippians of the emergency preparedness resources available through his office.
First and foremost, Attorney General Hood encourages Mississippians to develop and practice their own emergency plans. A copy of Mississippi’s Hurricane Preparedness Guide is available at http://www.agjimhood.com and includes suggestions on what to include in a family plan as well as an emergency supply checklist.
The AG also recommends that you take time in advance of a storm to download a copy of the “model contract” (also at http://www.agjimhood.com), which will help you avoid becoming a victim of home repair fraud.
“Having all your terms in a detailed, written contract will help you if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being conned by a crooked contractor,” said Attorney General Hood.
Attorney General Hood also reminds consumer to use their smart phones to photograph and video to document possible price gouging and home repair contractors. General Hood said, “The best evidence we can get to prosecute price gougers and home repair con artists is a photograph or video. If you are hesitant to video a transaction, then tell the seller or contractor that the AG said it helps everyone to have the terms of the transaction/contract recorded on audio and/or video. Most crooks will run from a video camera. If you are uncomfortable using video, at least place your phone on audio record in your pocket during the discussion of the terms of the contract or transaction.”
Some other tips from the AG to protect yourself against home repair fraud after a storm:
Always get more than one estimate.
Request references and talk with those references.
Use Mississippi contractors if you can.
Be wary of supposed contractors who come to your home soliciting business. Most reputable contractors will be busy and won’t need to solicit business.
More information can be found in “Consumer Tips for Storm Victims” on the AG’s website.
In the aftermath of any storm or any other time, if you suspect home repair fraud or think you may have been conned by a scam artist, please contact the Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division at 601-359-4230 or 1-800-281-4418.