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From the desk of Assemblyman David McDonough

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Assemblyman David G. McDonough is reminding Long Island residents and businesses to be on guard against repair scams and those who may try to exploit unsuspecting homeowners who suffered property damage. Despite the outpouring of support from volunteers and charitable organizations, there are still those who may try to take advantage of affected parties. 

“It is important that we protect ourselves against those trying to exploit this disaster for personal gains,” said McDonough. “There are many reputable organizations that are able to assist those affected by the storm. 

However, if you feel that you have fallen victim to a scam, it is important to report such an instance immediately.” 

If you have a problem with a contractor and are unable to resolve it yourself, you can file a complaint with the New York State Department of State at www.dos. ny.gov or by calling 1-800-697-1220. 

You can also report these instances to the Nassau Office of Consumer Affairs at 200 County Seat Drive, Mineola, NY, by phone at (516) 571-2600 or by visiting http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/OCA/index.html. 

Consumer Protection Tips:

-Beware of anyone who comes to your home or calls you on the phone and offers to make repairs

-Beware of anyone who talks quickly to confuse you and pressures you to sign a contract immediately

-Beware of anyone who has come to the area from somewhere else to “help”   

-Avoid unlicensed contractors

-Avoid contractors who do not supply proof of insurance; and

-Avoid contractors who demand payment in cash or want full payment up front, before work has begun.

A more detailed list of how to protect against scams can be found at http://www. governor.ny.gov/press/12022012-avoidscams.