DA: Beware of scammers now that the storm’s over

By District Attorney Bob Wortham

I commend the great citizens of Jefferson County for their response to Hurricane Harvey. I applaud them and certainly our emergency responders for their amazing work and for their compassion for each other. All of the hard work has not gone unnoticed.

Hurricanes can bring out the best in people. Unfortunately, natural disasters can also bring out the worst in people. In the coming days, I anticipate that many contractors will be coming to our area to offer their services to rebuild our community. Most of them will be honest, will work hard, and will do a good job. Sadly, there will be those who will be dishonest and try to take advantage of our citizens. If you are unable to secure a reliable local contractor with a good reputation, proceed with caution. Insist on a written contract, and be very cautious about any amounts of money that are to be paid in advance. One option is to ask the contractor for a list of items that he will need to get started, and go buy the items yourself and have them delivered to your construction site. Check out every contractor with the Better Business Bureau at 409-835-5951, and ask for written proof that the contractor is bonded by a Texas entity. Take every precaution to protect yourself from an unscrupulous contractor. Reputable contractors won’t mind a few questions.

Each and every citizen should watch and protect their neighbor and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. This office will not tolerate looters and burglars and thieves. We will prosecute them with the most serious offense available to us, and we will not offer probation. Looters and burglars and thieves will go to prison.

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