Vermont Attorney General Charity Clark answers your questions on price gouging and scams
Following natural disasters like the recent flooding in Vermont, scammers sometimes try to take advantage of people at their most vulnerable. Attorney General Charity Clark shares how her office is working to deter scammers and price gouging as communities rebuild from the floods. We'll also talk about the state's recent settlement agreements with opioid manufacturers.
- Attorney General Charity Clark
Here's how you can avoid scams, according to the AG
Attorney General Charity Clark says there's a formula: emotions running high + urgency = successful scam.
She says since the flooding earlier this month, there's already been an increase in reported scams related to utility shutoff, and that Vermonters can sign up for scam alerts from the state.
Also, if you suspect a scam, you can report it to the Vermont Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program.
As for how to avoid being the victim of a scam posing as a government agency or charity, Clark says to:
- Never give information if someone calls or sends you a link. Hang up, close the email or text, and look up the agency or organization. If they're legitimate, contact them yourself.
- Pay attention to how you pay for things. Clark says scammers want you to pay using currency that is untraceable and immediately accessible, like cash, crytocurrency or gift cards. If someone is asking you to pay using a gift card, it is pretty much a guaranteed scam, Clark says. Credit cards are a good way to pay, because they have consumer protections in place.
- You can look up charities on charitynavigator.org or the Vermont Secretary of State's corporations database.
- If you're concerned about contractors, you can look them up through the SOS's Office of Professional Regulation.Clark says two good rules are to always have a contract, no matter the size of the job, and to never prepay for a contractor's service, apart from a deposit.
Broadcast at noon Monday, July 24, 2023; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.