With Gov. Pat McCroy declaring a state of emergency Tuesday due to weather, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper is also warning citizens to be on the lookout for price gauging and roving scammers seeking to take advantage of consumers who need help removing trees that are brought down by the storm.
"Tree damage from ice storms brings out scammers trying to rip you off," Cooper said in a press release Wednesday. "After a bad storm, tree services will go door-to-door looking for customers.
"If you need help getting a fallen tree off your home or car, find someone qualified to do the work instead of falling for a scam."
While many tree removal companies are reputable, unscrupulous scammers often travel to areas that have been hit by natural disasters to take advantage of consumers.
If you suspect someone is a scammer trying to remove debris in your yard, report it to local law enforcement.
"If the deal is too good to be true it more than likely is," Edgecombe County Sheriff James Knight said. "Be aware if they are overly pushy or trying to rush you into a decision."
Some tips to avoid problems when hiring a tree removal service are to not pay upfront, check out the company, find out a fair price and don't let anyone rush you into having the work completed.
For the complete story, see today's print edition of The Daily Southerner.