Officials warn of scams related to storm needs

Local, state and the federal governments are warning residents of the potential for "disaster fraud" in the wake of superstorm Sandy.

All three levels of government warn residents to be cautious when donating money to relief efforts, using home repair or insurance filing services and to be wary of price gouging or yard service offers.

"Residents should always request photo identification and read the fine print if the person is at their front door, and if it's over the phone, then people need to be even more careful," Governor Malloy said. "Unfortunately, the damage caused by Storm Sandy has left many homeowners, renters, and business owners vulnerable to fraudulent offers of help. To anyone who is caught trying to gouge or scam people in Connecticut in any way, I want to be clear – we will find you, and we will make sure you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

In Waterford, police are warning residents not to give money to out-of-state workers who claim to be tree trimmers.

Police said they have received numerous complaints from residents who say they have been approached by these workers who are offering tree-cutting services at very high rates.

In one case, police said a person with no equipment arrived to "cut a tree." A police officer in the area intervened.

Neighboring communities are also reporting the same scam, police said. Some people have even given a cash deposit for work that never gets done.

Police said that tree trimmers should be licensed and insured. They also recommend not paying cash and getting an estimate along with a receipt.


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