Ask Amy: Tree branch damage, Centerpoint scam warning, paper tag fraud solution?

Who is responsible for tree branch damage if the tree is not in your yard? Plus, we’ve got a warning about people making calls pretending to be from Centerpoint energy. And - a possible solution to Texas’ fraudulent paper plate problem.


Call with threat to cut off power

We hope by now you’ve heard our warnings know that telephone numbers can be manipulated. Spoofing is when someone can make it appear that they are calling you from a legitimate number. (You may remember a son was recently tricked out of money after receiving a call that appeared to be from his mom.)

We are hearing from a ton of people getting calls that appear to be from Centerpoint energy. The callers may tell you something happened with their automatic payment system.. and they need your information again or your power will be disconnected. They may say you need to pay now.. via a payment app or by providing your financial information.

Centerpoint says just hang up. And if you are concerned the call may be legit call Centerpoint directly at the phone number that is on your bill.


Neighborhood tree damage

Question: “If a neighbor’s tree fell and damaged my driveway, am I responsible for the repair?” Albert B.

(Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Answer: Laws about trees are not always clear-cut. First, you need to know who actually owns the tree. The tree belongs to the homeowner where the trunk is located - no matter how much of the branches hang over your property line. In Texas if your neighbor’s tree falls on your property due to natural causes, like a storm, the tree owner is not responsible. You would need to file a claim on your insurance.

But, if the branch fell as a result of negligence, for example, dead branches that were not maintained, then they are legally liable to cover the expenses. Your homeowners insurance policy may cover certain types of damage.


Fraudulent paper tags

Judging by the amount of pictures and emails you guys send us about this issue, you probably know we have spent a lot of time looking into the fraudulent paper tag problem in Texas. KPRC 2 Investigates first exposed our state’s fraudulent paper tag system and the lax oversight of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles more than a year ago.

(Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

This week we showed a possible solution to Texas’ fraudulent paper plate problem. A local security expert is pitching a possible solution to the state. Take a look at his idea and see what you think.


We are getting more questions from you and we love it! If you have a question for Amy and the team, email us at AskAmy@kprc.com and we will work to find you an answer.


About the Author:

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.