Scammers expect to make easy cash after hurricanes strike. It’s happened after each recorded Hurricane in Florida. Even before the water recedes disaster restoration contractors descend on Florida offering to quickly help restore Floridians homes. Residents who are often forced to wait days and even weeks for storm cleanup often make bad choices, risking savings & ID theft.
The National Weather Service urges everyone to stay alert for hurricane and tropical weather advisories; but for some residents, the damage continues for weeks or even months after the winds and rain have died down. As local law enforcement authorities and even officials from the weather channel warn, scammers hit the computer, phones, and streets once a storm has passed, hoping to take advantage of vulnerable storm-weary residents.
With the current Mold Licensing Law in place Floridians can now simply ask for a Mold Inspector or Mold Remediators State License and be assured that the individual is not a Fly-By-Night Out of State Scam Artist.
Hurricane Victims Alerted to Scam Offers for Free Mold Inspections and Discounted Mold Remediation!
Consumers may not only lose hard-earned savings, but may also lose their identity. Hurricane scammers hit the streets hard, offering to inspect storm damaged homes and provide affordable remediation. These con artists show up at Florida resident’s door often passing out fliers and quick print business cards. They call on the phone, and many hit the Internet as power is restored to a damaged area.
When a Scammer appears at the door, he or she:
- May be well-dressed and present a business card.
- Claim to a represent a well-known company sending workers into the area to help with cleanup and repair.
- May be wearing a (phony) uniform that looks authentic.
- Usually has a (phony) contract for the resident to sign.
- Asks for an advance payment, payable by cash or credit card number.
- May claim that neighbors in the area are using his (or her) services to give the client reassurance.
- May pose as an independent contractor for whatever repair work is obviously needed.
- May pose as a mold inspector, citing extensive mold and mildew damage that can result in serious health problems if not fixed by a professional immediately (mold remediation).
What can a Florida Resident do to protect themselves from Fraud?
- Ask for a Florida State Mold Inspection or Mold Remediators License
- Check the History of anyone with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation BEFORE you hire them.
That is if the current HB 4171, HB 5005 and SB 1244 aren’t passed. If the Bills to repeal the Current Mold Licensing Laws do pass then when the next storm hits its “Caveat Emptor” all over again.
Maybe we should all move to Texas or Louisiana where they refuse to let history repeat itself and are protecting their citizens from fraud after the next storm with solid Mold Licensing Laws.
It’s never been more important to write, email, and call you District Representative and Senator.
The last thing you want to worry about after a Storm is whether or not your Mold Professional is legitimate! They should just be State Licensed.
Floridians need Licensed Mold Professionals and Consumer Protection!
Say No to the Repeal of the Current Mold Licensing Law!
• John P. Lapotaire, CIEC
• Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant
• Microshield Environmental Services, LLC