linwood residents look out for scammers

LINWOOD, KS (KCTV) -- Surviving the tornado seems like the easy part for families like the Duffins who used to live there.

On Wednesday, when we met them, they were simply trying to make sense of the destruction. On Thursday, they were being smart about making sure no one takes advantage of their distress.

Dena Duffin won’t deny, it looks like hell out there.

“These piles here are all stuff that will go,” Duffin said. “There’s some furniture up this way that we’re going to keep.”

The worst part is what feels like purgatory.

“Because we have to clean up every bit of this,” Duffin said. “All of this is our responsibility to clean up or the county, I guess, will come back on us or something.”

They are wading through what’s left of their life and waiting for help.

“But, we can’t do anything to the actual structure of the house until the insurance company tells us it is a total loss,” Duffin said. “Is that not just the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard?”

In the meantime, she’s trying to be smart about the cleanup -- clearing downed trees, making repairs if they don’t move, or just bulldoze altogether.

“I’m pretty sure all of us here are going to be affected by somebody,” she said.

She’s very aware there are scammers out there more than willing to help, making promises and taking off with the money before following through with any actual work.

“They know you got money coming in,” she said. “Myself, I just want to go with somebody I probably know or ask somebody, ‘Hey, do you know somebody that does this?’ I’m not going to take somebody just off the road and say, ‘Oh yeah, you can have the job.’”

It doesn’t seem fair, but not much does these days.

“It’s life,” she said. “If you don’t know that by now, are you living under a rock?”

You have to watch out for scams if you’re looking to help victims out there, too. Click here to donate to the Salvation Army and know your money is going something that is not a bogus scam fund.

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