Don't let catastrophe strike twice | Buzz Blog

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Don't let catastrophe strike twice

Posted By on June 1, 2011, 11:28 AM

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State regulators warn Utahns to be on the lookout for fraudulent flood-repair contractors and phony tornado-relief charities.--- Utahns like to give and con artists like to take--that’s why Department of Commerce Director Francine Giani is asking Utahns to check out charities before they give to disaster relief efforts like those aiding the tornado ravaged community of Joplin Missouri.

“Our Division is asking that consumers take a few minutes to check out the groups first before handing over their money to make sure storm victims truly benefit from your generous donation and not cunning fraudsters,” Giani said in a recent press release.

Consumers are urged to check with Utah Division of Consumer Protection to find out more about a charity. By law charities that operate or solicit donations from Utahns are required to register with the division and can be verified here.

Utahns are also encouraged to ask charities about where there money goes, its history, and the makeup of the charity—such as whether or not members are volunteer or paid.

Never give cash donations or checking or credit card information to suspicious charities, and when in doubt, contact the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 to find out more about a charity.

With flood alerts for much of Utah threatening homeowners with costly repairs the Department of Commerce is also asking Utahns to verify that alleged flood-repair contractors have licenses that are in good standing. By checking with the Utah Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing you can verify a contractor’s license and request records of disciplinary actions taken against that license.

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