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Texas

Attorney General Warns Texans in Disaster Zones Against Scammers

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Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News
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Residents of Hays, Harris and Van Zandt Counties may be eligible for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the Memorial Day Floods.

In May, Texas had the highest monthly rainfall total in its history, but the hundreds of people affected by flash flooding are finding out that they may not have had the right type of insurance coverage. The Insurance Council of Texas is warning Texans that a homeowner policy doesn’t cover everything.

"A lot of people think this homeowner policy is good for flooding. It’s not," says Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the  Insurance Council of Texas. "You need to get a separate flood insurance policy. That’s going to protect you against any type of rising waters."

Meanwhile, residents of Hays, Harris and Van Zandt Counties may be eligible for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Residents can register online at disasterassistance.gov.

On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned Texans not to get hit by what he called a second-wave of disaster "in the form of shady individuals perpetrating scams and fraud," he said. "These crimes are particularly heinous because, as anybody in Hays County can tell you right now, money is tight."

He says fake contractors are going door to door taking money and making promises, without following through with repairs.

"Therefore do not let yourself be rushed or bullied into signing a contract and it’s best to work with contractors who only seek payment after repairs are done," Paxton said.

The Attorney General advises people to get everything in writing and to check a contractor’s ratings from the Better Business Bureau. Under Texas law, a person has three days to cancel a sale made door to door and must also inform the customer about the cancelation.

The Texas Attorney General Office’s complaint line is 1-800-252-8011.