Dallas County Judge Jenkins Urges Residents to be Aware of Post-Disaster Fraud Practices

For Immediate Release
December 28, 2015

Dallas County Judge Jenkins Urges Residents to be Aware of Post-Disaster Fraud Practices

DALLAS, Texas —Under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Texas law specifically prohibits deceptive acts or practices following a disaster declared by the Governor. These acts may include the selling or leasing of fuel, food, medicine or another necessity at an excessive price or demanding an excessive price in connection with the sale of these items.

Additionally, other post-disaster fraud practices may include fraudulent building or housing inspectors and contractors, phony pleas for disaster donations or fake offers of local, state or federal aid. Those who suspect fraud or have a consumer complaint can contact the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 621-0508.

Door-to-door sales are quite common in post-disaster areas. Under Texas law, the seller must advise you of your right to cancel the sale within three days, and you should always ask for a physical address and for references. Be wary of any contractor that asks for full payment in advance or provides you a contract with blank spaces in it.

“I urge residents who are covered by insurance to work closely with their insurance provider. When interviewing a contractor, ask questions, ask for identification and ensure any contractor you hire is a legitimate contractor in good standing with the Better Business Bureau. It’s also critically important that you safeguard your personal information. As state and federal assessment teams survey the damage, please know they will always have identification and will never ask for or accept money,” said County Judge Clay Jenkins.

For additional information: https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/consumer-protection

Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Judge