October 31, 2003

District Attorney and County Chairman Issue Warning To Fire Victims

“There are unscrupulous people looking to prey on innocent victims…”

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and County Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Cox are warning residents to be aware of any individuals who may try to prey on victims of the recent fires.

DA Dumanis said, “It is during times like these that many residents may be victimized twice; first by fire and then by those that will try to take advantage of their vulnerable situation. We are asking all residents to report any suspicious activity to our office immediately.”

Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Greg Cox said, “Even in this emergency situation, there are unscrupulous people looking to prey on innocent victims. We must make every effort not to let this crisis interfere with our common sense and good judgment — that includes safeguarding personal information, asking questions, and dealing only with appropriately licensed and certified insurance agents, contractors and charities.”

One of the most common practices following a disaster involves unlicensed contractors looking to help fire victims rebuild. All fire victims should be wary of any contractor who initiates contact with them by means of “cold call.” Residents should contact at least three references, and personally inspect a contractor’s past work.

If residents have any questions regarding any of the above please have them contact the Better Business Bureau of San Diego, Contractors State License Board or the California Attorney General’s Office Registry of Charitable Trusts.

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