Pender County warns of scam artists following floods

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PENDER COUNTY – Pender County Manager Randell Woodruff is warning residents recovering from flooding or other Hurricane Matthew-related damages to beware scammers posing as home repair contractors.

Days after the weekend storm, flooding continued throughout parts of North Carolina as rivers could not absorb the waters flowed into them. Pender County was especially hard hit on Wednesday. What could follow has officials worried, too.

“In previous weather events, we have heard reports of home owners who paid deposits on materials and the contractor never returned to complete the work,” Woodruff said through a release. “We have heard reports where contractors charged outrageous fees for trimming broken limbs and not cleaning away the debris.”

Chuck Strickland, the director of the Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce, said local chambers of commerce in Burgaw and the greater Topsail area have listings for known and reputable local contractors.

“Residents requiring home repair can find contractors on our websites or on our downloadable app (available in the iStore and Google Play),” Strickland said.

Residents are also warned to watch for scam artists who claim to be gathering donations for flood victims.

Woodruff’s release recommends that residents who want to donate should give through churches, civic organizations and to the Gateway Community Church, 416 W. Bridger St. in Burgaw, since the church is serving as a distribution center. For details, call Pastor Ted Mercer at 910-604- 0071.

Residents are also urged to report scam artists to local law enforcement agencies.