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Be aware of scams if you’re recovering from the effects of Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane-63121_640If you suffered damage from Hurricane Dorian, or if you’re looking for ways to help those in need, you can get information at ftc.gov/weatheremergencies. It offers ways to spot the scams that often follow disasters.

After a storm like Hurricane Dorian, scammers often target people who need to get their homes cleaned up or repaired, or find a new place to rent, said by Colleen Tressler, consumer education specialist for the Federal Trade Commission.

Scammers may pose as a government official, asking for financial information or money to apply for aid that you can request on your own for free. They often demand that you pay by gift card, prepaid card, or wiring money. That’s always a scam, Tressler said.

Charity scams also get active after a hurricane, she said. If you’re thinking about donating to help people affected by Hurricane Dorian, start with research and planning so your donations get where to they’ll be effective.

Tressler said if you’re in an area affected by the storm, you can add local contacts to this handout, Picking Up the Pieces after a Disaster, print copies, and hand them out in your community.

You can report a scam at ftc.gov/complaint or on the website of your state attorney general.

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