After a big storm or other disaster, a criminal element may be drawn to the area. Fraud can range from shoddy repairs to price gouging to people who take the money and run. Here are 4 tips for protecting yourself from contractor scams:

1. Get written estimates. These should be on the company’s letterhead, with clear contact information.

2. Get more than one bid. This will help you decide which offers are legitimate and which may be too high or too good to be true.

3. Use local companies. Make sure to check references and phone numbers.

4. Don’t pay up front. You may be left with new damage to your finances and the same old damage to your property. Good contractors will typically require a partial payment up front to get started, but your final payment should be made after the job is finished.

Information originally published by Texas Department of Insurance at

Pictured Left to Right: Lonnie Nicholson (EECU President & CEO), Kiana Headland (Alvarado High School), Christian Turnley (Keller High School), Emily Hailey (Fort Worth Christian School), Sydney Peel (Colleyville Heritage High School), Frank Molinar (White Settlement ISD Superintendent and EECU Board Member), Deanna Pierce (Richland High School).
Pictured Left to Right: (back row) Frank Molinar (White Settlement ISD Superintendent and EECU Board Member), Christian Sigala (Trimble Tech High School), Carrigan Hudgins (Mansfield High School), Kyle Samstag (Mansfield Summit High School), Makenna Blassingame (Brewer High School), Lonnie Nicholson (EECU President & CEO); (front row) Kalkidan Alemu (Everman Joe C. Bean High School), Braden Kelley (Richland High School), Brooke Pollard (Arlington High School), Jessica Devous (L.D. Bell High School).

On Tuesday, March 28, EECU announced the 2017 Glenn Mandeville Memorial Scholarship winners at its annual meeting. EECU awarded $40,000 in scholarships to support eight local graduating high school students with their college expenses. The EECU Scholarship Program began 29 years ago and honors former board member Glenn Mandeville, a life-long educator. Since that time, EECU has awarded more than $480,000 in scholarship money to local students.

“EECU has a deep affinity for supporting education,” said Lonnie Nicholson, EECU President and CEO. “Higher education can be an essential springboard to building productive lives, but unfortunately, college expenses also can be a significant burden. EECU is proud to be able to recognize and financially assist these deserving students, and we wish them tremendous success in their academic pursuits.”

The following eight students were named as recipients of the $5,000 scholarships for 2017:

  • Makenna Blassingame, Brewer High School, plans to study Special Education
  • Braden Kelley, Richland High School, plans to study Music Education
  • Brooke Pollard, Arlington High School, plans to study Education
  • Kalkidan Alemu, Everman Joe C. Bean High School, plans to study Biology
  • Jessica Devous, L.D. Bell High School, plans to study International Business
  • Carrigan Hudgins, Mansfield High School, plans to study Biomedical Engineering
  • Kyle Samstag, Mansfield Summit High School, plans to study Business Administration
  • Cristian Sigala, Trimble Tech High School, plans to study Biomedical Engineering

Congratulations to the 2017 Scholarship winners!