The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides tips on how to stay away from con artists who prey on people after natural disasters like Hurricane Ian. Preying on people after hurricane Ian is something we should all be aware of as with any natural disaster.
Disaster victims and those attempting to donate to charities are both targets of scammers.
“First, understand that officials with government disaster assistance agencies do not call or text asking for financial account information and that there is no fee required to apply for or receive disaster assistance from FEMA or the Small Business Administration,” according to the FCC. “Anyone posing as a federal official and asking for money is an imposter.”
Always be suspicious of phone calls that ask for information!
“Remember that phone scams often use spoofing techniques to deliberately falsify the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity or make the call appear to be official,” the alert says. “If someone calls claiming to be a government official, hang up and call the number listed on that government agency’s official website. Never reveal any personal information unless you’ve confirmed you’re dealing with a legitimate official. Workers and agents who knock on doors of residences are required to carry official identification and show it upon request, and they may not ask for or accept money.”
You should also speak with your insurance companies directly rather than relying on opportunistic calls, emails, or texts.
“If you get a phone call about an insurance claim or policy, don’t give out any personal information or agree to any payment until you can independently verify that the call is legitimate,” the alert says. “If the caller says they’re from your insurance company, hang up and contact your agent or the company directly using the number on your account statement… Contractors and home improvement companies may also call claiming to be partners with your insurance provider,” the FCC says. “Never give policy numbers, coverage details, or other personal information out to companies with whom you have not entered into a contract. If your state requires licensing, verify that any contractor you are considering is licensed and carries adequate insurance. Many states have online databases you can check.”
Disasters victims and those attempting to donate to charities are both targets of scammers. Never reveal any personal information unless you’ve confirmed you’re dealing with a legitimate official. Preying on people after hurricane Ian is something we should all be aware of as with any natural disaster.