In the aftermath of a disaster, an enormous amount of private and public funds are pumped into the affected areas. This flood of money, in addition to an increase in volunteers and first responders, can create a chaotic and confusing situation on the ground. Unfortunately, among those who come to help are individuals and companies looking to take advantage of people with scams and fraudulent schemes.
If a natural disaster damaged your home or property, proceed cautiously as you begin putting things back together. When considering your recovery options, do your research and take your time so that you don’t become a victim of a scam.
Recovering from an emergency can be overwhelming and confusing. Be aware of some tricks post-emergency scammers use which may include:
- Unscrupulous repair and removal contractors
- Some will take money (insurance claim or other funds) and simply disappear
- Some will try to convince you to sign FEMA benefits over to them
- Robo-calls about phony insurance schemes
- Fake FEMA “inspectors” charging for their services
- Fake Red Cross “volunteers” taking money to assure housing, a vehicle, or other assistance
- Identity theft to access a disaster survivor’s relief assistance
- Charity fraud (for instance, there were 4,000 questionable Hurricane Katrina-related websites seeking donations after that storm)
Check out these CERF+ Studio Protector resources that will help you be Post-Disaster Scam Ready!