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Scam Warning — Post-Flood Scammers

Getty Images/Chris Hondros
Getty Images/Chris Hondros

Scammers start preying on victims before the flood waters have receded. these human vultures can smell a disaster before it even happens and they’re on the scene ready to pick your pockets before you can even figure out your own damages.

Now, the BBB is warning about post-flood scammers that are already in the area, ready to leave you and your bank account high and dry. According to the BBB, there are some safety precautions you can take to keep from getting taken.

 

The Better Business Bureau warns of post-flood scams. It’s a sad truth that after disasters like the flooding across Louisiana, some may try to take advantage of those needing help. The BBB is offering tips on how to avoid being scammed.

Carmen Million, President of the Lake Charles BBB, says that victims of natural disasters are ripe for the pickings after a disaster and scammers know that. Million points out that people are tired and they want to get back to their homes as soon as possible. People get very stressed out about the situation and that’s when even the smartest people can make bad decisions. The BBB suggests that, no matter how stressed and anxious you are, you really need to do your homework on all the repair companies that crop up out of nowhere following a disaster.

That’s not to say that if the repair company isn’t local that they’re crooks, but it does help to work with people who live and work in this area. You’re far less likely to get ripped off by a local company that has been around for several years than you are hiring some of the disaster repair gypsies that crop up anywhere there is a disaster. The bottom line is to watch out for people soliciting repair business door to door.

Another type to watch out for is the fake FEMA worker. these people will show up at yur door claiming to be from FEMA and then charge you for various services like inspecting the damage to your home and property,

First of all, all FEMA people wear badges and ID’s, but let’s face it; badges and IDs are pretty easy to fake. If the person claiming to be from FEMA wants any money at all, they’re fake.

One point to watch out for when dealing with FEMA is your bank account number. If you qualify for assistance and want the money to be deposited directly to your account, you’re going to have to provide FEMA with some personal information including your bank account number. Make sure you have positive ID from the FEMA rep and them give them the information. That’s only for direct deposit of you funds.

When it comes to your home and your money, take some extra time and make sure everything checks out. Real FEMA workers know about the scammers and they’re okay with you checking their credentials. It’s better to take a few extra minutes and protect your money.

For more information on tips to avoid scams, visit the Better Business Bureau’s website.

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