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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Fraudsters Capitalize on Natural Disasters
October 11, 2017

Fraudsters Capitalize on Natural Disasters

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Fraudsters Capitalize on Natural Disasters

Disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma prompt fraudsters to solicit contributions supposedly for a charitable organization or a good cause. Fraudsters may also attempt to capitalize on the misfortune of victims by advertising false temporary housing ads which victims send money to the subject in order to have property keys mailed to them.

Victims may also receive information regarding false job opportunities in which victims will receive a fraudulent check they are expected to deposit and then distribute to various accounts. Therefore, before making a donation of any kind or supplying payment for any type of service related to victim relief, people should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:

• Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mails

• Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves over e-mail as officials soliciting for donations

• Do not click on links within an unsolicited e-mail

• Be cautious of e-mails claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders

• To ensure contributions are received and used for the intended purposes, make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf

• Validate the legitimacy of the non-profit status of the organization by directly accessing the recognized charity or aid organization’s website rather than following an alleged link to the site

• Attempt to verify the legitimacy of the non-profit status of the organization by using various Internet-based resources, which may also assist in confirming the actual existence of the organization

• Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions; providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft

• Be cautious of e-mails claiming to offer employment for which you did not expressly apply

• Thoroughly research housing ads prior to sending money to a potential landlord

If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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