After a disaster strikes, many well-meaning people and groups come together to help survivors. Unfortunately, disasters can also bring out criminals looking to make a quick buck. After Hurricane Katrina took many lives, and negatively impacted many more, $1.4 billion in federal aid was reportedly used by fraudsters who disguised themselves as people associated with Katrina relief. Fake addresses as well as stolen Social Security numbers were used from dead victims to receive rental aide payments.
Victims should watch out for phone or door-to-door solicitors who hand out makeshift flyers and promise to speed up the insurance process or who ask for large cash payments before repair work is done. You need to be careful before writing a check to a lesser-known source that is collecting donations, or an insurance agency that promises to cover the heavy expenses for your damaged walls. Even in grieving period, scam artists are up to speed with their business - duping innocent people. If you suspect a scam, let us know. You might be a target, but you don’t have to be a victim.