The Oklahoma Insurance Commission is warning of phone and door-to-door scammers targeting victims of recent storm damage that have been centered in Elk City and Perkins. According to the release, scammers are placing suspicious calls and could show up in person, claiming to represent well-known insurance companies and then demanding to inspect customers' roofs for estimates.

"These con artists are the lowest of the low,” Commissioner John D. Doak said. “They prey on disaster victims at a time when they’re emotionally vulnerable, stressed out and dealing with an unfamiliar situation. By giving consumers a heads up, we hope they can better protect themselves.”

Consumers haven't lost money in these scams as of yet, and local phone numbers scammers used were no longer in service when follow-up investigations were done. Doak offered tips to avoid fraud after disaster when people are much more vulnerable: require references and check them; work only with licensed and insured contractors; get multiple estimates before signing a contract; get everything in writing; ask to see the salesperson's driver's license has write down their license and plate numbers; never sign a contract with blanks; and never pay in full until work is completed.

Anyone with reports of scammers are asked to call the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071.

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