TORNADO RELIEF: Local officials warn about fraud

By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ

COOKEVILLE – Local officials are cautioning people to be wary of people soliciting donations for tornado victims through phone calls and door-to-door solicitation and to use caution with any contractor who comes to your house seeking work.

Fake donation sites have recently sprung up online and officials want the public to know that the only official tornado relief fund is the Cookeville-Putnam County Tornado Relief Fund that is set up at Bank of Putnam County. Donations to the fund can be made at any of the 19 bank branches.

Donations to the Cookeville-Putnam County Tornado Relief Fund can also be made by texting COOKEVILLEHELP to 41444 or through PayPal at donate@CookevillePutnamCountyTornadoReliefFund.

In the aftermath of any disaster there are always those who seek to take advantage of people already down on their luck. With a little care, residents can protect themselves.

Residents are advised to proceed with caution in hiring any contractors that seek out homes with tornado damage. Verifying the business license of any contractors and asking for local references before agreeing to work can save homeowners from being taken advantage of.

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