Officials Warn of Scam Targeting Tornado Victims

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By Bree'Ann Hildreth

PARKERSBURG (AP) - Officials are warning disaster victims in northeast Iowa to be wary of scam artists as they recover from a historic tornado that struck last week.

Authorities say they have heard of people going door to door in some Parkersburg and New Hartford neighborhoods claiming to be approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to remove debris.

But Amanda Johnson, a FEMA spokeswoman says that's not the case, and that no cleanup crews have been approved by FEMA.

The scammers have asked for 10 percent deposit or down payment on work.

The offers can be from contractors who plan to do little work or will not complete the work.

Butler County Sheriff Jason Johnson says that, as yet, no one has reported being a scam victim, and no arrests have been made in conjunction with the reports. He says his office is urging people to be cautious.

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