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Caregiver Connections Expo Coming in November

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Utility Scammers Up Their Game

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

In this scam, crooks pretend to represent an electric or gas utility company. They threaten to cut off your utility service unless allegedly overdue bills are paid immediately. And they’re at it again, calling individuals and businesses across North Carolina.

Now they’re taking extra steps to convince you that their call is legitimate by manipulating Caller ID (to make it look like they really are calling from Duke Energy), by transferring you to speak to a “supervisor” during the call, and even by playing music for you while you’re on hold.

Victims are sometimes instructed to send their payment by wire. But increasingly they’re told to deposit money into a specific account, or to put funds on a prepaid debit card or gift card and then call back to provide the card number.

Most people see through the scam, but some don’t. An eastern North Carolina homeowner lost more than $500 recently while a Charlotte resident lost almost $2,000, both via gift cards. A small business in the Triangle area sent more than $1,000 by wire, and another lost $2,200 via prepaid cards.

If you get a call threatening to cut off your power if you don’t pay:

  • Don’t send or transfer any money to the callers.
  • If you believe you may really owe money on your utility bill, hang up and call your utility directly, using a phone number from a recent bill or the company’s website.
  • Remember that real utility companies won’t use these methods to try to collect overdue accounts or cut off your service on such short notice.

If you believe you’ve fallen for a utility cut-off scam, call our office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free in NC or by file a complaint online at ncdoj.gov.

 

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Caregiver Connections Expo Returns

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ACE October Caregiver Events

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Watch Out For Repair Scams After Hurricane

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Hurricane Matthew flooded homes and businesses, ripped off roofs and sent tree through walls and across driveways. Unfortunately, home repair scammers are trying to profit off the damage.

One group approached a senior in Raleigh and tried to pressure him to pay more than $1,500 upfront to remove downed trees. Fortunately his family intervened to stop the scam and report it to our office and local law enforcement.

If you need help fixing or cleaning up your home after Matthew, learn how to find quality contractors and avoid fly-by-night scammers who follow storms.

With all storm repairs:

  • Don’t pay for repairs before the work is done.
  • Avoid doing business with anyone who knocks on your door offering repairs.
  • Always contact your insurance company before getting repairs done.
  • Remember that FEMA does not certify, endorse or approve contractors.

Report storm-related scams to the Attorney General’s Office at ncdoj.gov or 1-877-5-NO-SCAM (919-716-6000 if calling from an out-of-state number). If you suspect that someone who shows up at your home is trying to commit fraud, call local law enforcement immediately.
See below specific tips if you have flood damage, roof damage and downed trees, and get additional tips on storm repairs at our website, ncdoj.gov.

If you have flood damage:

  • Don’t pay in advance for flood repair and cleanup. Scammers who collect upfront payments may set up a fan or remove a wet carpet and then take off before the real work is done.
  • Use licensed experts. Water damage often requires work by licensed electricians, plumbers and other skilled contractors. Check to make sure you’re dealing with someone who is really licensed.
    • For electricians, check ncbeec.org or 919-733-9042
    • For plumbers and HVAC experts, check nclicensing.org or 919-875-3612
    • For general contractors, check nclbgc.org or 919-571-4183
  • Get required permits and inspections. Flood repairs are likely to require permits and inspections by city or county officials. Check with your local government to learn more.

If you have roof damage:

  • Avoid roofers who knock on your door or leave you flyers. Local roofing companies don’t look for work door-to-door, but drive-by roofers often try to drum up business that way. Beware of out-of-town roofers who may take money and then leave town without finishing or even starting the job.
  • Watch out for storm chasers — roofing scammers who visit or call hard-hit neighborhoods after a storm and offer to inspect your roof. These scammers nearly always find that your roof needs to be replaced, even when it doesn’t.
  • Be skeptical of promises of a free roof. Storm chasers claim that they can help get your new roof paid for in full by your homeowner’s insurance policy. These roofers fail to mention that many insurance policies require you to pay a deductible out-of-pocket, and that filing a large claim is likely to make your premiums rise.

If you have downed trees:

  • Never pay upfront for tree removal. Out-of-state tree cutters have been known to collect deposits from entire neighborhoods and then disappear without performing any work. Only pay when the work is done and you are satisfied.
  • Avoid fly-by-night tree removal services that come to town after the storm. Stick with local tree removal companies that are more likely to stay and finish the job.
  • Check out the company with our Consumer Protection Division (1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within NC) and the Better Business Bureau. Ask the company for local references, and look at online reviews.

 

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Get Ready to Winterize

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Last Call for Aging in Place Expo

When older adults are asked where they plan to spend their senior years, most reply “I want to stay in my home for as long as possible!

Shepherd’s Center of Greensboro wants to help you stay independent and active. So they are partnering with Christ United Methodist Church for an afternoon that will provide information on how to make changes to your home, to be aware of local services, and to live safely in the home you love….with some minor renovations or changes.

Aging in Place Expo

September 22, 11:00am – 2:00pm 

Christ United Methodist Church

410 N. Holden Road, Greensboro

 

This is the last call for reservations to participate!

The Expo presentations and exhibits are free.

There is a $6 charge if you would like to reserve a box lunch prepared by the CUMC staff (the first 100 sponsored free boxes are already reserved). Deadline to order lunch is 9/16/2016 by 3pm.

Call 336.378.0766 Monday-Friday, 10am – 3pm to make your reservation for this unique expo.