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Branchburg Rescue Squad, Inc
Friday March 19th, 2010 :: 05:24 p.m. EDT


RT Somerset OEM/Health cautions you to Beware of Scams after a Flood. More info available via email.

March 19, 2010

Beware of Scams after a Flood
Somerset County Consumer Protection Advisory

The Somerset County Division of Consumer Protection wants consumers to know that marketing scams, deceptive door-to-door sales, home improvement scams and misleading solicitations for non-existent charities increase after disasters. Following are some scams to be aware of after the recent Nor’easter, although others may develop:

• Telephone sales of “Disaster Relief Kits”
• Fictitious fund-raising for flood victims
• Prize-promotion schemes in which funds supposedly go to victims
• People falsely claiming they can help process disaster-relief paperwork for a fee
• Advance-fee loans to begin home repairs
• Traditional door-to-door home-repair scams
• Phony inspectors selling unnecessary items such as home water-treatment systems
• Fraudulent, dishonest home-improvement contractors
• Unlicensed electricians and plumbers
• Auto-repair shops that overcharge and/ or perform poor, faulty or unnecessary repairs and other deceptive practices
• Con artists making promises that are simply “too good to be true”
• Price gouging

A state of emergency was declared in New Jersey on March 14. Residents should know that once a state of emergency has been declared, it is illegal for anyone to sell merchandise or services needed because of the state of emergency for more than 10 percent above the selling price.

“It’s important that you be cautious and skeptical when presented with unsolicited remedies, especially after a disaster,” said Freeholder Peter S. Palmer, consumer protection liaison. “By being aware of potential scams, you can protect yourself from con artists who may prey upon you during a difficult time.”

The County Division of Consumer Protection recently created a brochure entitled “Flood Victims –How to Avoid Disaster-Related Scams.” Click here for a copy. Copies also will be available at the County Administration Building, located at 20 Grove St. in Somerville, and will be distributed to the municipalities the week of March 22.

For further information, contact the Somerset County Division of Consumer Protection at
(908) 203-6080 or

Branchburg Rescue Squad, Inc
113 River Rd
Somerville, NJ 08876

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 908-722-4645

Bucky Buchanan

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