WARNING ISSUED ON CHARITIES AND HOME REPAIRS

Governor Chris Christie, Attorney General Paula T. Dow, and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs warned consumers to watch for home repair scams and charity scams during the post-Hurricane Irene recovery period. They noted that dishonest home improvement contractors have been known to prey on individuals seeking to repair their homes after severe flooding incidents.  Offering low prices and speedy work, they may leave consumers with poor or half-finished work, and homes that remain unsafe. Fraudulent charities also solicit donations in the wake of disasters.  At least one such apparent fraud began after the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster that affected Japan.  Misusing the name of a respected charitable organization, the alleged scammer sent out emails asking consumers to send donations of no less than $300, via Western Union to a location in the Philippines. Dow and Calcagni urged consumers to call the Division of Consumer Affairs hotline, 800-242-5846, if they suspect fraud or to learn whether a contractor or purported charity is registered with the state.