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Posted by Michelle South
SMP CyberSAFE: June 2022
Summer Storms and Scammers
Dubbed the “Fifth Season” by local meteorologists and internet memes, Hurricane Season is here. If you’ve been a resident of the Gulf coast for any amount of time, you’ve probably started doing a little storm prepping – stockpiling extra water and batteries, checking your generator, making sure you have important paperwork in a safe place, etc. We do these little tasks each year to prepare for the “what ifs” of storm season. But, as Colleen Tressler of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states in her article, “threats from hurricanes don’t just come from wind and rain.” We need to prepare for the possible scammers that arrive after the storm has passed. Tressler’s article, How to Prepare for Hurricane Season 2022 and Avoid Storm-related Scams, gives valuable resources on ways to avoid and report storm-related scams.
Below are some of the tips from the FTC:
Be Skeptical of anyone promising immediate clean-up and debris removal.
Before you pay, ask for IDs, licenses, and proof of insurance.
Never pay by wire transfer, gift card, or in cash.
Never make the final payment until the work is done.
Guard your personal information including your credit card, bank account, and Social Security Number.