Lyon County Sheriff Brent White wants to make the public aware of disaster-associated scams. Specifically, he warns the public of possible contractor fraud.
The sheriff’s office has partnered with the National Insurance Crime Bureau to provide residents with information and resources following the recent natural disaster.
On Monday, he told the Herald Ledger he does not want anyone to fall into schemes or traps set by nefarious actors.
“I wanted to share some resources that our partners at NICB have after a disaster that may save some of our victims from being re-victimized by contractors and other entities that prey on people that are at their lowest point,” he said.
White explained NICB works with insurance companies, consumers, law enforcement, and local officials to mitigate insurance fraud practices and incidents. He said homeowners should expect phony solicitations for service during the recovery stage.
“Unfortunately, following a disaster, victims are understandably confused and shaken by the damage or possible loss of their homes and belongings,” the sheriff said. “Sadly, it is at this time crooked contractors arrive and press homeowners into paying out their insurance claim prior to the repairs being completed.”
He said fraudsters disguised as contractors offering services do collect payment, before starting or completing contract work.
“Meanwhile the homeowner is left in the same place and out thousands to tens-of-thousands of dollars in the process,” he said.
He advises caution and homeowners to reach out to his office at 270-388-2311, contact their insurer and the NICB at 1-800-TEL-NICB.
He noted some digital resources residents may use are the Post-Disaster Contractor Search Checklist, Contractor Fraud Tips and the Disaster Fraud brochure, all of which can be accessed at www.nicb.org.
White also provided an update on the county’s recovery effort.
“The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office continues to provide security and extra patrol to the areas which were impacted the most. This is to inform our citizens that they will see additional National Guard personnel and Sheriff’s Deputies from other counties working in our county over the next several days,” he said.
Additional law enforcement support is being provided by the 438th Military Police Company, a Murray-based U.S. Army unit.
According to White, the law enforcement assistance is critical for the county’s and city’s regular response calls. He said the service is made possible by deputies having rest and rotating shifts.
“We ask you to continue praying for our community. As of last night, we have 1 confirmed storm-related fatality, 5 seriously injured, and many walking wounded. We have nobody else unaccounted for who has been reported to our agency at this time,” he said Monday.
White also confirmed the tornado damaged at least 75 homes and destroyed several others. He expects these figures to rise.
“We appreciate all of the donations, prayers, and support we’ve received thus far,” he said.
“Continue to pray for our neighbors, especially Princeton, Mayfield, and Dawson Springs.”