Posted by Jenna Green on November 2, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Warning: Consumers need to be aware of various types of fraud affecting the victims of Hurricane Sandy. You should be aware of home repair fraud, fraudulent disaster recovery organizations, charitable solicitations and other schemes. Below are ways to protect yourself.
Door-to Door Solicitations ( Home Repair)
- Beware of door-to-door solicitors asking to repaire your home. Do your research and use established contractors.
- Use caution when a home repair company only lists a telephone number or post office box number.
- Get more than one estimate
- Get Everything in writing.
- Ask to see the salesperson’s driver’s license and write the number and take note of the license plate number of their vehicle
- Never sign a contract with blanks.
- Ask the company to provide references. If they don’t provide it, kick them to the curb.
- Do not pay cash or make a check payable to a person other than the owner or company name
- Read over the contract thoroughly and ask for proof of proper licenses
Fraudulent Charitable Solicitations Red Flags
- The charity uses a similar name to a well-known reputable organization
- The solicitor cannot or will not answer basic questions about the charity
- The organization uses high-pressure tactics to obtain a donation
- The solicitator insists on payment in cash
- The representative asks to pick up your donation as opposed to mailing it.
FEMA ( Federal Emergency Management Agency), does not contact disaster victims; the victim must first contact FEMA.
Remember: Do not give out any personal or financial information that could endanger your identity or bank account. Bank account information could be used to remove money from consumer’s bank accounts
Hotlines to Report Fraud
National Center for Disaster Fraud: 1-866-720-5721
National Insurance Crime Bureau 1-800-835-6422