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Officials warn fire victims about post-disaster scams

The Oregon Debris Task Management Force, Oregon Dept. of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency are warning fire victims to watch out for post-disaster scams.

Posted: Nov 10, 2020 5:47 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The Oregon Debris Task Management Force, Oregon Dept. of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency are warning fire victims to watch out for post-disaster scams.

Officials say some fire victims are receiving calls about phony inspections, questionable testings and vague cleanup offers.

They say some scammers are pretending to be EPA certified contractors. Those contractors are going door-to-door and asking to sample debris and ash for asbestos.

They're also requesting payments for the work to be completed.

From our point of view, it's secondhand from talking to residents and we are hearing that people have already paid $1,200 to get their stuff sampled," said Randy Nattis, incident commander for EPA.

Officials say homeowners should known that there are no tests or payments required for EPA-related cleanup work.

EPA also won't cleanup your property without a signed Right of Entry form.

“I am particularly concerned though about individuals who may not even know that they’re victimized," sais Ellen Klem, director of education and outreach for the Oregon Dept. of Justice. "Those are the cases that really keep me up at night, so that’s why we want to raise that general awareness and let people know that we’re here.”

Klem suggests researching contractors before accepting any help. You should also carefully review anything they ask you to sign.

The Oregon Dept. of Justice has resources available to help you avoid post-disaster scams.

If you're doing cleanup yourself, landfills or transfer stations may require some testing.

“As a reminder, fire damaged properties have hidden dangers, such asbestos and munitions chemicals, compressed cylinders, gases, and other household hazardous waste," Nattis said. "There can also be many physical and unknown risks that EPA trained experts with the appropriate equipment and protective gear can safely address.”

The state encourages you to call your local landfill or transfer station before you haul your materials there to find out what they accept.

Also, to find out what their requirements are for testing and handling and make sure that you get qualified professionals to do that for you.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 193732

Reported Deaths: 2572
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38352591
Washington25592233
Marion22026306
Clackamas17440214
Lane13007148
Jackson10862139
Deschutes896274
Umatilla820284
Linn492969
Yamhill446376
Klamath441164
Polk375752
Malheur351863
Josephine334570
Douglas327271
Benton310019
Jefferson219837
Coos206633
Columbia174427
Union144823
Lincoln137921
Wasco137728
Hood River118730
Crook111322
Morrow110716
Clatsop9858
Baker95414
Tillamook6493
Curry6469
Grant5095
Lake4517
Harney3448
Wallowa1845
Gilliam631
Sherman581
Wheeler321
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3764405

Reported Deaths: 62573
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123645624067
Riverside2994554594
San Bernardino2967824715
San Diego2785913729
Orange2709835026
Santa Clara1190642096
Kern1091771374
Sacramento1048401686
Fresno1018381688
Alameda879401657
Ventura810011013
San Joaquin732201391
Contra Costa68741805
Stanislaus621421061
Tulare49654839
Monterey43613383
San Mateo42038568
San Francisco36720544
Santa Barbara34337456
Solano32953252
Merced31898460
Sonoma30035320
Imperial28443726
Kings22989246
Placer22679292
San Luis Obispo21308260
Madera16462242
Santa Cruz16264207
Marin14056227
Yolo13910210
Shasta12152226
Butte12026199
El Dorado10168112
Napa987082
Sutter9433112
Yuba626847
San Benito606563
Lassen570624
Tehama557262
Nevada474275
Tuolumne413166
Mendocino410149
Humboldt404641
Amador365847
Lake347643
Glenn239125
Colusa223416
Siskiyou223424
Calaveras212954
Inyo142838
Del Norte13938
Mono12844
Plumas7106
Modoc4994
Mariposa4487
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned520
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