Ask Andy: Flood Scams - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: Flood Scams

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By Andy Wise - bio | email

MEMPHIS (WMC TV) - Let's nip these in the bud right now -- before the river crests.

According to FEMA, the Better Business Bureau and Carfax, these are the scams we can expect to surface during the Great Flood of 2011.

FAKE FEMA FLYERS. Action News 5's Jason Miles discovered these last week in Raleigh. Someone's posting official-looking flyers, ordering people to evacuate their homes in the name of the federal agency. Shelby County EMA Director Bob Nations said they are a ruse to let someone loot your home.

* FLY-BY-NIGHT CONTRACTORS. This happens during and after every disaster. Trucks with tags from Missouri, Texas, Alabama, New Mexico -- loaded with ladders, tools and no credentials. Same rules apply folks, even in a disaster:  consult your insurance agent, get estimates and check company histories with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org/us) and your state's contractor's board or attorney general's office.

* RE-SALE OF FLOODED VEHICLES. "On average, more than half of all cars damaged by a flood get cleaned up and resold," said Chris Basso, public relations manager for Carfax.

"Flooded cars literally rot from the inside out and can cause safety as well as health issues," he said. "Check for reported flood damage free at flood.carfax.com, get a Carfax Vehicle History Report and have a mechanic inspect any car you consider buying."

* "NO-WAIT" FLOOD INSURANCE. You don't have to live in a flood zone to qualify for flood insurance. But if someone's saying you can buy a flood policy right now in the middle of this flood event, it's a scam. That's like an agent telling you he'll sell you a homeowners policy while your house is on fire. You should expect a 30-day waiting period on most flood policies.

For more guidance on flood insurance, please click on this Ask Andy story:  http://www.wmctv.com/story/12417057/ask-andy-flood-insurance.

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