WARNING: Scammers look to target tornado victims

The Chestnut Ridge subdivision is swarming with repair crews after Monday's EF2 tornado damaged or destroyed more than 50 houses.  

The insurance commissioner's office canvassed the neighborhood Thursday.

"Why are you here?" Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland asked the chief fraud agent.

"To bust the bad guys," Chief Sherry Mowell said.


There were no arrests, but the campaign may help ensure that only the good guys get the work of rebuilding.

"We've heard from several homeowners about some shady characters being out here," Mowell said.

Tornado victim Sunset Gatson said the sales pitch she got was full of promises and hard to fathom.

"'I can make sure you get the most out of everything, and get you back in your home in about a month.'" Gatson said.

"Did any of that ring not necessarily true?" Strickland asked.

"Looking at the house, I don't see a month," Gatson said.

Along with the warning came crucial advice.

A pamphlet urged victims not to forget to document what they will expect the insurance company to pay for.

"We are already seeing people clean up and we're asking, 'Have you taken pictures? Have you made a list?' Some have and some haven't but it's very critical that you do," said consumer services director JoAnne Oni.

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