It has been so difficult to watch the news reports of the devastation and havoc left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and now anticipated this weekend by Hurricane Irma, which is being reported as the most powerful storm to hit the Caribbean and the southeast in almost a century.
Not only do those who live in the path of these hurricanes have to worry about basic survival, but now there are reports that they are being victimized by scammers.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), homeowners and renters are receiving robocalls from fraudsters who tell them that their flood insurance premiums are late, and that they have to pay up now or they will not have insurance for the hurricane. What a frightening scenario for anyone watching the weather and the hurricanes bear down on their communities. These scammers are preying on people who are vulnerable and are asking for payment immediately.
If you get a call like this, the FTC recommends the following:
- Don’t pay over the telephone
- Contact your insurance agent
- If your agent can’t help you, call your insurance company
- If you have a policy with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP Direct), call 1-800-638-6620
- If you suspect fraud, call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline (how sad is it that FEMA has a disaster fraud hotline?) 1-866-720-5721
- Report it to the FTC
Our support is with all of the hurricane victims during this difficult time.