CHARLESTON -- Hurricane Sandy and the related storm effects have caused major damage to homes and to infrastructure in West Virginia.

Citizens can be left without power for extended periods of time. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a State of Emergency in West Virginia. With the emergency declaration, additional government services become readily available.

Attorney General Darrell McGraw is issuing a warning to consumers to beware of those who will try to take advantage of West Virginia citizens.

“During State of Emergency conditions, scam artists are always out trying to take advantage of our citizens, specifically in small communities," McGraw said in a press release. "They come around claiming to assist with repairs and other situations that arise from the emergency condition and end up preying on those who are most vulnerable. Seniors are often victimized by traveling contractors who show up after major weather events."

Those who might have been a victim of a scam or excessive or unjustified increases in pricing of essential goods and services during a State of Emergency are asked to contact the Attorney General’s Toll-Free hotline at 1-800-368-8808.

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