Police: Scammer tricks tornado victim into signing over insurance money

Police: Scammer tricks tornado victim into signing over insurance money. (WICS)

Taylorville officials urged homeowners impacted by Saturday’s EF-3 tornado to be wary of scammers.

Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile said to be cautious about companies reaching out asking for business.

Hile said he’s gotten a call himself by a company he believes is trying to scam the area.

And Thursday, the department got an official report of a scam taking place.

“A lady had somebody do some business simply putting a tarp on the roof,” Hile said. “[She] signed the paperwork. [They said], ‘Oh here, we need you to sign this.' Well then she realizes after they’re gone that the signature indicates the authority for this alleged contractor, which obviously they’re not, to receive her insurance benefit for all the damage done to the residence.”

Hile said he doubts this contract would hold up in court, but said it’s an added stress on a woman who just had severe damage to her home — something she, and all those affected by this storm, doesn’t need.

If you believe you’ve fallen victim to a scam, report it to police as soon as possible.

And before hiring contractors, be sure to check if they’re licensed and insured.

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