Here in Central New York, it's pretty hard to escape Stella. You may need flashlights, batteries, food, plow services, and more. However, experts are warning many to watch out for scammers.

It's sick to think that someone would scam you during terrible weather, but it's entirely possible. According to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, retailers, vendors and suppliers are prohibited from jacking up prices during natural disasters to take advantage of consumers who need essentials like food, water, gasoline, generators, and more.

"Unscrupulous fraudsters will use severe winter weather as an excuse to illegally line their pockets," he said in a statement. "We won’t tolerate anyone who seeks to capitalize on this snowstorm at the expense of New Yorkers."

USA Today has a helpful list of tips to remember during this storm:

To avoid becoming a victim of fraudsters:

1) Get multiple estimates before committing to a property repair or snow removal deal. This will help you not only find the best deal, but also see something that may be to good to be true.

2) Ask for references. Honestly, it never hurts to use Facebook to ask for help.

3) Get everything in writing. A verbal deal isn't going to help you in court, if it goes that far.

If you feel like you are being pulled into a scam, contact local authorities ASAP.




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