Ala. Attorney General Warns Against Disaster Scams

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is warning consumers against price gouging and fraud as homeowners look to bounce back from recent severe weather.

Strange said Tuesday that Alabama's price gouging law goes into effect when a state of emergency is declared to prevent unreasonable pricing of items that are for sale or rent. Authorities say prices 25 percent or more above the average cost in the same area within the last 30 days are considered unreasonable.

Strange is urging consumers to research potential contractors -- especially if they make unsolicited calls or have come from out-of-town after a natural disaster.

Strange says consumers should also ask for proof of licensing, insurance, check whether the work requires a permit and should never pay in full before the work has been completed.

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