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Post-Hurricane Sandy May Bring Out Scammers

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Hurricane Sandy caused severe flooding in Old Town Alexandria.
Jonathan Wilson
Hurricane Sandy caused severe flooding in Old Town Alexandria.

After a big storm like Sandy, unscrupulous contractors may try to take advantage of the bad situation and scam property owners who need repairs.

"What you're going to find is people who will come and hang solicitations on your door, or put something in your mailbox or just come up to your door and knock on it and ask if they can help," says Julie Rochman, head of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

According to the institute, these smooth operators will often give an overly generous estimate and ask for a down payment of 80 to 100 percent. Rochman says never give more than 50 percent upfront.

"Scams can be avoided by making sure that whoever you hire is licensed, is bonded, and is ensured," says Rochman. "Even better, if it's somebody who's local, who's been in business for some period of time, who may be a friend or a neighbor or a better business bureau or your insurance company has recommended to you, that would be great."

Rochman says it's also important to have a contract.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

NPR

Squeezed By Drought, California Farmers Switch To Less Thirsty Crops

Water scarcity is leading farmers away from planting staples and towards planting higher-value, lower-water specialty crops. Think wine grapes and pomegranates instead of citrus and avocados.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip To Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

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