KARK 4 News & FOX 16 News will have special live coverage Saturday morning with the latest updates on the tornado damage in the Little Rock metro and many other areas of Arkansas. Tune in live starting at 7 a.m. on-air or online at KARK.com & FOX16.com.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – After tornadoes swept through the Natural State Friday, leaving extensive damages to homes, vehicles and property, Attorney General Tim Griffin has issued a warning to protect Arkansans from being scammed.

Griffin reminds homeowners to avoid re-building scams by reminding that insurers will honor their home policies. He also advised that there is no need to rush into or be pressured into signing a contracting agreement.

The Attorney General also offered the following additional tips:

  • Get more than one estimate
  • Demand references and check them out
  • Never let a contractor pressure you into hiring them.
  • Never sign a contract with blanks “to be filled in later.”
  • Never pay a contractor in full until the work is finished.
  • Never let a contractor discourage you from contacting your insurance company.
  • Make sure you review and understand all documents sent to your insurance company.

In addition, after Gov. Sanders declared a state of emergency Friday evening, prohibitions on price gouging by businesses are also in place.

The anti-price gouging law prohibits businesses from charging more than 10 percent above the pre-disaster prices of goods or services, such as food and water, fuel, blankets, medicine, bandages, flashlights, batteries and construction materials.

“The price gouging law is triggered whenever a state of emergency is declared by federal, state or local governments,” Griffin stated. “A violation of Act 376 is a violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which carries a fine of up to $10,000. Many of our neighbors have had their lives turned upside down by the recent severe weather and need our support. Price gouging will not be tolerated.”

The ban on price gouging remains in effect for at least 30 days and can be extended another 30 days if necessary to protect the lives, property or welfare of the citizens. For home repairs, the law remains in effect for 180 days.