post-disaster scams

Avoiding post-disaster scams and scammers

post-disaster scams
Unfortunately, many scammers take advantage of natural disasters to scam helpers who want to provide relief, or even the disaster victims themselves.

Unfortunately, disasters can be opportunities for many scam artists. They come out to prey on those who are interested in helping victims of such disasters – or worse, they prey on the storm victims directly.

Hurricane Sandy might be another chance for scammers at work. We strongly encourage everyone to be aware and use these tips below from Better Business Bureau (BBB).

If you are interested in donating to help the victims:

  • Rely on expert opinion when evaluating a charity;
  • Be cautious with donations online or via text;
  • Research charities for on-site locations at the areas impacted by the disaster, as well as whether the charity is fundraising for another organization that can be reached faster directly;
  • See more tips and details here

For those who were victims of the storm looking for a repair service for their homes and vehicles:

  • Require written bids that clearly identify the materials and all labor charges, as well as the beginning and end of work
  • Do not pay 100% in advance for the work nor in cash
  • Ask for references from local customers
  • Check out their business review with the BBB
  • See more tips and details from BBB here

Have other helpful hints to avoid scams and scammers?  Please post a comment to tell us about them!

Our thoughts are with those suffering the wrath of Sandy!

2 thoughts on “Avoiding post-disaster scams and scammers

  1. I hope everyone out there is ok! I am not from Louisiana, but I have lived here for five years, and I know that after Katrina and even Gustav there are many companies that will try and scam you. Roofing repair companies started popping up just looking for FEMA checks, and not really caring about the quality of work done. Definitely look for the reliable sources of aid. I think we’ve all heard of Red Cross. Also I’d urge everyone to help out where they can, from their time to their money. I have family up there and I’m sure a lot of other people do, but remember again, watch out for those scammers.

  2. Scams can certainly be abundant during times of need because of people’s need for help. Because of the increased need for help, we can definitely be more gullible and more willing to agree to things out of emotion. By keeping a balanced head on our shoulders, we can avoid these scams. Just a little research into the fund you are donating to, finding charities that are recommended by reliable sources, or (on the other side of a disaster) by not paying 100% for repairs in cash before they have even started.

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