Media contact: Lynsey Mukomel 517-599-2746
Public inquiries: 517-335-7622
July 29, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reminding Michigan residents to watch for scammers following recent storm damage in parts of Michigan.
Severe weather swept through Southwest Michigan overnight, bringing down trees and leaving thousands without power in the area. Unfortunately, anytime cleanup efforts are underway scammers look to take advantage of the situation.
In response, Nessel is reissuing two important consumer alerts.
The first is her Advice for Homeowners Consumer Alert. Whatever the type of disaster, affected homeowners want to repair the damage right away to get back to a sense of normalcy. Unfortunately, that rush to repair one's home often leads otherwise careful consumers to make decisions they would not normally make.
To avoid falling victim to a scam, take the following steps:
Storm damage also creates an opportunity for utility imposter scams, which is the second alert Nessel is reissuing in response to the severe weather.
These types of scams often involve a threat to turn off a utility unless the resident pays a certain amount of money in a short amount of time. But scammers can also impersonate a utility company to convince a consumer a utility - like electricity - can be fixed sooner if they pay an additional fee.
Scammers are now able to create authentic-looking 800 numbers which appear on your phone display.
If you're contacted by someone claiming to be with a utility company, take the following steps to verify authenticity:
"Education and awareness are the best tools we have to fight against bad actors looking to take advantage of those experiencing hardship," Nessel said. "Our Consumer Protection team is committed to investigating complaints and I encourage people to contact our office if you believe a business or individual is engaging in fraudulent behavior in response to the severe weather."
Earlier this month, Nessel provided an update on warnings she put out following flooding on the east side of the state. Thankfully, the call volume related to that flooding has remained relatively low - a credit to the fact that consumers are educating themselves.
The Department will continue to follow up on complaints received and ensure consumers are being properly treated. If additional action is necessary, the Department will work with the proper agencies to secure accountability.
To file a complaint with the Attorney General, or get additional information, contact:
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Toll free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form
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