#Harvey: Beware Of Scammers Targeting Hurricane Victims And Charity Donors [VIDEO]

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#Harvey: Beware Of Scammers Targeting Hurricane Victims And Charity Donors [VIDEO]

#Harvey: Beware Of Scammers Targeting Hurricane Victims And Charity Donors [VIDEO]

Over the last week we’ve watched Harvey dump trillions of gallons of rain across Texas and into Louisiana. We’ve also seen the resilience, bravery, humor, and sheer awesomeness of people rallying to help friends, neighbors, and complete strangers.

Chick Fil-A to the rescue!

Pizza Hut delivery by kayak:

Cowboys herding livestock out of flooded areas:

Yes, CBS, those are COWBOYS!

Americans helping Americans because that’s just what we do. 

People who have lost everything, yet are counting their blessings.

Unfortunately, there is a bad side to this. As noted yesterday, some grifters, such as Linda Sarsour, will be blatant about their grab for dough. Meanwhile, other criminal grifters will be more annoying, more subtle, and just as heinous.

Scammers are using robo-calls to try to fleece storm survivors.

The robo-calls tell people that their premiums are past due and that they must send money immediately or else have their flood insurance canceled.

Yes, unfortunately, along with the good comes the vipers and parasites who will do everything they can to take advantage of someone’s misfortune.

HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 29: People take shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center after flood waters from Hurricane Harvey inundated the city on August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The evacuation center which is overcapacity has already received more than 9,000 evacuees with more arriving. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

First of all, NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE in Texas or Louisiana is having their flood insurance canceled right now. Not a single person. What those robocalls are is FRAUD pure and simple. Furthermore, in regards to the National Flood Insurance program, this is very important to know:

That people enrolled in the national program need to file a claim no later than today, before a new state law governing lawsuits against insurance companies goes into effect Sept. 1. He pointed out that the state law has no bearing on the National Flood Insurance Program.

He urged people to return to their homes and begin documenting damage with photographs — but only after they are certain it is safe to do so.

“If it’s not safe to return to your home, have no concern. We will wait for you,” Wright said.

USA Today published a very helpful article that outlines what Texans, and anyone who wants to donate funds or materials to help, need to look out for as the recovery effort begins. Fox News has also done so.

Flood Insurance: Ignore the robo calls. Again, IGNORE the robo calls! Instead, call your insurance company and work with them.

Charity Scams: Verify the charity first. Do NOT wire money, check to see if they are a 501C3, and get confirmation from others regarding veracity of the organization. Charity Navigator has a Hurricane Harvey link set up that can help.

Phishing and Copy Cat Scams: If you receive an email or a social media with a link that you don’t recognize, or outlines a charity that ends in .com instead of .org, dump it into your computer trash, and if you can make a note of it on paper, report it to the FTC.

Crowdfunding Scams: Be very cautious about what you see appear on sites such as GoFundMe and KickStarter. Verify before donating. Read here about the steps GoFundMe is taking to ensure few, if any, scams take place on their site.

Texans from Corpus Christi, to Rockport, to Beaumont, Houston and beyond, are now facing the daunting task of drying out, damage assessment, and rebuilding. Early estimates put the cleanup cost at approximately $35 BILLION for that area alone. With those numbers, it’s all the more important for those affected to ignore scammers, get quotes in writing, and deal directly with their own insurance companies. Furthermore, it is equally important for those desiring to help by donating funds or materials that they double and triple check the charity organization’s bona fides before giving them anything.

Hurricane Harvey has brought out the very best of America and, unfortunately, the grifters and criminals who live under rocks are going to try to take advantage. Be wary, be vigilant, and don’t let the scum win.

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2 Comments
  • GWB says:

    The robo-calls tell people that their premiums are past due and that they must send money immediately or else have their flood insurance canceled.

    These folks need a dose of old-school Texas justice: Get a rope!

    Do NOT wire money, check to see if they are a 501C3, and get confirmation from others regarding veracity of the organization.

    That’s a confusing sentence. Because I’m pretty sure you mean DO check if they are 501c3 and DO get confirmation.

    outlines a charity that ends in .com instead of .org

    I don’t think that’s as big a sign as it used to be. The distinction between top-level domains isn’t very clear anymore. But do investigate, don’t assume.

    Good info, Nina.
    And don’t forget, folks: look at ways of helping directly, too. Your church or denomination might organize trips to muck out or rebuild or simply distribute needed goods. If you’re hammering nails directly into some family’s roof, you know who’s getting the help. 🙂

  • GWB says:

    Here’s a guy jumping right in. He’s not just helping raise money, he’s running the organization himself. He might be a Wisconsin boy by birth, but he’s a Texan at heart (and by contract 😉 ).

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