Severe spring weather like tornadoes, large hail, and flash flooding can wreak havoc on our homes and businesses.
And as if that’s not tough enough, fraudsters are always waiting in the storm’s wake – working hard to scam home and business owners when they’re at their most vulnerable.
You can protect your money and your information by learning how to identify the warning sings. Here are a few types of post-storm scams to watch out for:
- FEMA or Disaster Assistance Imposters pose as government officials from FEMA or the Small Business Administration. They will call your phone - or even knock on your door - and ask for money or personal information in exchange for disaster assistance.
- Insurance Scammers pretend that they are your insurance company, calling to ask you for information regarding an insurance claim or policy.
- Contractor Scams involve people pretending to be contractors or home improvement companies. They claim that they’re partnered with your insurance company in an attempt to get ahold of your information or cash.
- Disaster Charity Relief Scammers pose as representatives of bogus charities, claiming to be collecting donations for disaster relief.
If you or your loved ones experience extreme weather, always remember: government disaster agencies NEVER ask for financial or other personal information in exchange for help. Anyone claiming to be a federal official who asks you for money is an imposter.
Additionally, we recommend that you never give your money or personal information to an insurance company, charity, or other entity without verifying the organization.
To report suspected fraud after a storm, call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721.