Don’t Fall For Fraud After a Natural Disaster
The Aftermath of Hurricane Florence
At a time of disaster, many people will choose to give to local charities and relief efforts to help those affected. Unfortunately, disasters can also bring out the worst in people; that is when those with criminal intentions step forward or make their way to a disaster area from another state.
While the Grand Strand at-large was barely affected by the hurricane force winds of Hurricane Florence, save for power outages and a few downed trees, the aftermath of Florence has been devastating!
Historic Flooding and Evacuations in South Carolina
Two years ago when Hurricane Matthew blew through, we at the Grand Strand experienced what we, Grand Strand residents, believed to be a historic 1000-year-flood. Only two years later these flood records are smashed, one after another by Hurricane Florence floods.
As many as 21,000 people have already or might need to evacuate due to flooding!
Donate and Support; Where to Place your Money and Efforts
Keep your money local but make sure it is reaching those who need it.
If you can donate supplies, give volunteer hours, cook a meal, offer pet fostering, or can take in those displaced by the flooding, you can do that right now. There are several active Facebook groups coordinating efforts in the area.
Once the rivers have crested and water recedes, people will need continued financial support, cleaning crews, meals and supplies as they try to replace what was lost.
Prevent Fraud; Things You Need To Know
After our rivers have crested and then recede, and life goes on for most of us, some of our local Grand Strand residents will be dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence for months, even years to come.
It is important to remember that most business owners are knowledgeable, kind and reputable. However, not everyone is, so take caution. Here are some things to keep in mind!
- Verify and still adhere to ‘buyer beware’. Research each charity you plan to donate to, to ensure it is legitimate and that an acceptable amount of your donation is staying local.
- New charities specific to this disaster will emerge. If you chose to donate via this route, just like any other online portal, ensure you are using the correct web address. Fraudulent sites will pop-up; be aware!
- Do not fall for a high-pressure sales pitch. Reputable charities won’t disappear overnight, and they won’t demand you donate now. When in doubt, skip to the next charity.
- Like with any other fraud prevention strategy, beware of wire transfers and gift cards, as well as requests for your personal information/account numbers.
- If you have damage to your home (roof, downed trees, etc.) take care to double check that the contractor you are working with is licensed, bonded, and insured. Next, ask for and get a written contract with costs, timelines, and a clear expectation for the work. Always keep receipts of everything and take ‘before & after’ photos. Never pay the full amount up front.
Scammers are everywhere.
Here is the first reported local scam; someone has been reselling free sandbags to those in need.
Let Us Know How We Can Help You Today!