Georgia Attorney General Warns Against Home Repair Fraud Following Storms

Georgia’s Attorney General, Chris Carr, is cautioning residents to remain vigilant against home repair fraud and scams in the aftermath of recent tornadoes and severe storms that swept through the state.

“Con artists will try to take advantage of those impacted by severe weather, and we want to remind Georgians of the important steps they can take to protect themselves from potential fraud,” said Carr. “If your home or business was damaged, we urge you to thoroughly research a contractor before hiring anyone to make repairs. We understand this is a difficult time for families and communities, and we stand ready to assist those who think they have encountered a scam.”

The warning specifically targeted “storm chasers,” scam artists known to demand upfront payments for repair services and then vanish without completing the work. In other instances, scammers might overcharge for tree removal, perform unnecessary repairs, or deliver substandard work. Carr highlighted cases where fraudsters offer to cover insurance deductibles, potentially embroiling homeowners in insurance fraud.

To safeguard against scams, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division offered practical advice:

  • Avoid upfront payments: Refrain from engaging with contractors who demand full payment upfront, accept only cash, or refuse to provide written contracts.
  • Seek referrals: Instead of responding to door-to-door offers, seek referrals from friends and neighbors.
  • Consult insurance providers: Always communicate with insurance companies before committing to repairs or inspections.
  • Check credentials: Verify contractor licenses and affiliations through relevant bodies such as the Better Business Bureau and state licensing offices.

Additionally, legitimate contractors should possess necessary documentation, including business licenses, insurance coverage, and warranties.

For specific services like tree removal or water damage repair, residents were advised to verify licenses with respective professional organizations.

The Attorney General’s office also warned against unlicensed public adjusters and urged homeowners to confirm credentials before engaging their services.

Residents are encouraged to contact the Georgia Insurance Commissioner’s Office for verification of public adjuster licenses and contract approvals before proceeding with any repair work on their property.

For additional information, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division website here.

Reporting Contacts and Other Resources

If you think you may have been the victim of a scam, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 404-651-8600 or 1-800-869-1123 (toll-free in Georgia). Consumers can also file an online complaint here.

If you believe a roofer or other contractor has committed insurance fraud, file a report with the Insurance Commissioner’s Office here or call 404-656-2070 or 1-800-656-2298.

If you have trouble making contact with or receiving a timely response from your insurance company or if you have questions about your insurance policy, call 1-800-656-2298 or visit the Insurance Commissioner’s website here.