The actual consequences associated with Hurricane Sandy are upsetting.
Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) November 05, 2012
The actual consequences associated with Hurricane Sandy are upsetting. Millions of Americans were left without power, dozens met their demise and a number of flights were terminated during this natural catastrophe. Many government, private, and charitable organizations are scurrying to reach those in need. Regrettably, so are scammers that victimize and take advantage of individuals when they are at their most distressed. 1st Financial Center, an industry innovator and well known debt relief agency specializing in debt resolution, wants to take this opportunity to alert individuals of common scams that may occur after a natural disaster such as Superstorm Sandy.
Assembled below is a list of common scams to avoid along with a few simple tips to make sure individuals do not become these scammers next target.
1. Photos with Malware. This specific scam attacks soon after any kind of tragedy or even catastrophe. Thieves rely on individuals to be concerned and starving for the latest news information. With this thought process, these con artists taint pictures along with videos using malware.
Tip: Keep with reputable sites such as your neighborhood news station or newspapers for the newest and latest information. Be suspicious of links on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.
2. Phony Non-profit Agencies. Look out for phony charitable agencies which may have titles just like those of trustworthy organizations. These fake agencies are built to deceive individuals into thinking they are donating to a great cause; meanwhile, these individuals are falling victim to a scam and in turn are giving hard earned cash as well as personal and financial information to thieves.
Tip: Take notice of the website. These scam sites often end with a .com rather than the characteristic .org for non-profits.
3. Bogus Internet Sites. Many scammers will send individuals emails with links to a bogus internet site asking for donations or vice versa. Though these emails may contain any number of scam, individuals need to be aware of who they are opening emails from.
Tip: Play it safe. Double-check the legitimacy of the site link sent within the email. Instead of clicking on the link copy and paste it into your web browser. When in doubt, check your local American Red Cross or the Federal Emergency Management Agency Website to find local help.
4. Insurance Scams. Don’t fall for questionable “experts” who fabricate promises about a claims check, damage appraisal, inspection, as well as water quality testing.
Tip: If any of your personal property has been damaged, call your local company first.
5. Identity Thieves. Even in the occurrence of a natural disaster, it is necessary to keep all important and personal information protected. Identity thieves wait for opportunities such as these to make their move.
Tip: Maintain an active role in protecting your credit and identity. The law allows individuals to pull one credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. For a free credit report visit AnnualCreditReport.com. Also, if affected by a natural disaster and have to leave your home contact your local post office and place your mail on hold. This will keep your sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Lastly, contact your bank. Some banks provide identity-theft management services.