By Colleen Tressler
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
If you suffered damage from Hurricane Dorian, or if you’re looking for ways to help those in need, start at ftc.gov/weatheremergencies. You’ll find ways to spot the scams that often follow disasters.
After a storm like Hurricane Dorian, scammers often target people who need to get their homes cleaned up or repaired, or find a new place to rent. Scammers might pose as a government official, asking for financial information or money to apply for aid that you can request on your own for free. Whatever the story, they often demand that you pay by gift card, prepaid card, or by wiring money. That’s always a scam.
Charity scams also get active after a hurricane. If you’re thinking about donating to help people affected by Dorian, start with research and planning so your donations get where they’ll do real good.
And if you’re in an area affected by the storm, you can add local contacts to this one-page handout, Picking Up the Pieces after a Disaster at www.consumer.ftc.gov/sites/www.consumer.ftc.gov/files/one_pager_fillable_resource_sheet.pdf, print copies, and hand them out in your community.
Spotted a scam? Report it at ftc.gov/complaint.