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Vermont Attorney General Charity Clark answers your questions on price gouging and scams

A man and woman stand outside near a piece of wood the woman sprays off with a hose.
Mike Dougherty
Vermont Public
Volunteer Sophie Feldman and building owner Vince Illuzzi clean furniture outside. As Vermonters clean up from recent flooding, it's important to stay aware of scammers.

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.

Our guest:

  • 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 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.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or check us out on Instagram.

Mikaela Lefrak is the host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.
Andrea Laurion joined Vermont Public as a news producer for Vermont Edition in December 2022. She is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., and a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. Before getting into audio, Andrea worked as an obituary writer, a lunch lady, a wedding photographer assistant, a children’s birthday party hostess, a haunted house actor, and an admin assistant many times over.