April 24, 2013: The Des Plaines Police Department would like to warn all citizens who have been victims of flood damage in Des Plaines to be aware of persons that approach them and represent themselves as "Flood Damage Specialists or Repairers."
During times of disaster there are some individuals that take advantage of victims who are in their most vulnerable state. Victims of flooding should be cautious when contacting or dealing with these "Flood Damage Specialists," who might approach them in person, call them on the phone, or post their business information on lawn signs in flood damaged neighborhoods. Residents are asked to check on neighbors, particularly the elderly, who might be vulnerable to any possible scams. Suspicious companies or activities should be reported to the Des Plaines Police Department by calling 9-1-1.
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Citizens can protect themselves from "Home Repair Fraud" by checking the business through websites such as the Better Business Bureau, www.bbb.org , by contacting the City of Des Plaines Building Department, 847-391-5380, to verify a contractor's credentials, and by always being vigilant. It is appropriate to ask a "Flood Damage Specialist" if they are licensed by the City or State and request to look at such credentials. Please be advised to look out for your neighbors and to contact the Des Plaines Police for anything suspicious. The Des Plaines Police Department is taking a proactive stance on this topic so that the citizens of Des Plaines are aware of any possible scams during this time of crisis. There have been no reported incidents of Home Repair Fraud up to this point in time.