An event such as Irma brings out the very best with many of our neighbors and friends. It makes us all very proud of how we as Americans come together to serve those in need during the toughest of times.
Such has been the case with the “Marco Patriots,” a loosely organized group of men and women who have come together to help their neighbors after the storm.
Unfortunately it also brings out the worst in some individuals and companies. Scammers have a tendency to descend on communities reeling from the effects of natural disaster situations to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals, especially the elderly.
“We want our residents to be cautious when dealing with these types of situations,” said Marco Island Police Chief Al Schettino. “Any contractor wanting to provide services to you should be licensed and insured. If they can’t provide you proof of that you should contact us immediately,” said Schettino.
Another ploy may be someone knocking on your door and offering to “help” as part of missionary work for some religious organization, and only looking for a donation to help continue their work. Residents are encouraged to also contact local law enforcement should approaches be made from that angle.
There is no need, under any circumstance to provide anyone your social security number, bank account numbers or any other personal information.
Chief Schettino encourages residents to contact his department should any questions arise. “No matter what the issue is, our public is encouraged to call us. We are more than happy to come out and speak with them or to speak with a prospective contractor on their behalf to help determine the legitimacy of their status regarding licensing and insurance,” said Schettino.
Schettino would go onto explain that Marco was a “No Scam Zone,” and violators would be treated accordingly. “We will not tolerate our citizens being taken advantage of and will respond accordingly.”
Should a resident have an issue Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM, they are encouraged to call 239-389-5050 or 389-5060 and request the assistance of an officer. During evening hours and on weekends they should call 911 and request to speak with an officer and one will respond.