INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is warning about scam artists operating in the wake of the state's recent heavy storms and advises how to avoid getting ripped off.
Agency spokesman John Erickson says it's not unusual for scammers to show up in areas with water, roof or tree damage and pose as contractors willing and able to help immediately. These people often try to collect a down payment for promised work and are never seen in the area again.
The agency advises consumers to ask contractors for proof they're licensed and bonded and to be suspicious of any contractor who demands payment up front. It says they also should make sure the scope of work, any promises, a timeframe and final price are made in writing.