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Avoiding insurance fraud

Posted On Wed, May 5, 2010

Natural disasters affect millions of Americans every year, causing damage to homes. Riding on the coattails of these devastating events are people working to scam victims out of their money.

Insurance companies invest millions of dollars to rebuild an area when a natural disaster occurs, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. During the aftermath of these events, instances of insurance fraud rise when people begin going door-to-door to sell their services rebuilding what was damaged.

While not everyone who goes door-to-door is a scam artist, homeowners should still be on the lookout for deals that seem to good to be true, the NICB said. Disaster victims can pay an upfront fee and be left without anything repaired or their home in worse condition than it was before. Fraudsters also "frequently try to take advantage of the elderly, pressuring them to sign contracts, file claims, or pay up front for repairs," an NICB spokesperson said.

Before hiring someone to perform work on a home, consumers should receive more than a single estimate, have a contract made up, contact references, and verify the worker's license.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19761006-ADNFCR

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