Every time disaster hits, scammers are close behind. There’s always someone trying to cash in on the desperation of those rebuilding after the storm and the goodwill of Americans who want to help. Here are the top scams that have popped up in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Top Hurricane Scams:
Storm Chasers: Don’t fall prey to unscrupulous contractors as you repair your home after the hurricane. Be wary of workers who go door-to-door offering amazing repair deals because they claim to have leftover materials. These are often scams. Be sure to stay calm and shop around for quotes. Read BBB’s tips on avoiding storm chaser scams.
Charity Scams: Be cautious about online giving, especially in response to unsolicited spam messages that claim to link to a relief organization. If you want to give to a charity involved in relief efforts, go directly to the charity’s website. Read all of BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s charity donation tips.
Social Media Scams: Facebook and Twitter are rife with fake charities and fake storm victims asking for money, but also be wary of news stories and disaster videos posted online. Some of these, especially the ones that promise “shocking footage” or other sensationalized content, contain malware. If you click a link to a video on Twitter or Facebook, but are told you have to install additional software to see it, stay away.
Phony Investments: Scam investment opportunities also crop up after disasters. After Hurricane Katrina, scammers promoted investments that supposedly made money and helped the cleanup effort. Similar schemes are likely to pop up in the weeks following Sandy. Read the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s full alert.
For More Information
To find out more about scams, check out the new BBB Scam Stopper.