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How to avoid disaster relief scams

7:59 PM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
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While many are trying to help those affected by the Midwest tornadoes, there may be some trying to take advantage of the situation.

Has it happened? Not yet, but it will happen. The Better Business Bureau calls them "storm chasers." They creep out of the woodwork when ever there's a disaster to take advantage of the victims. These are some of the common scams:

  • They pretend to be with FEMA and want an up front fee for help
  • They pretend to be contractors from your insurance company and they are there to do an inspection
  • They ask for cash donation but never reveal how it will be used
  • Whenever there's a disaster, you can take these steps to avoid a post disaster scam:
  • Talk with the insurance company first
  • Check references before you agree to any services
  • If you want to give, give to a recognized nonprofit organization like the American Red Cross

If you suspect a post disaster fraud, report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 1-877-623-3423.

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