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Avoid Scams: Natural Emergency Scams

Natural emergencies, like storms or earthquakes, not only bring physical challenges but also open the door to scams targeting vulnerable individuals and charitable hearts. After hurricanes, scammers use various tactics like calls, texts, and even door-to-door visits to exploit residents. 

Watch Out for Red Flags: 

  • Government officials won’t call or text for financial info. 
  • No fee is required for emergency assistance from FEMA or the Small Business Administration. 
  • Phone scams often use spoofing (making it look like the call is coming from a legitimate organization); instead, verify officials by calling the official number on their website. 
  • Door-to-door workers must carry and show official identification without asking for money. 

Avoiding Insurance Scams: 

  • Don’t provide personal info or payments without verifying the legitimacy of a post-disaster insurance call. 
  • If a caller claims to be from your insurance company, hang up and contact your agent directly or use the number on your account statement. 
  • Verify contractors’ licensing and insurance before sharing any personal information.

Steering Clear of Charity Scams: 

  • Donate to well-known charities; verify legitimacy through official websites or trusted organizations like Charity Navigator. 
  • Verify phone numbers for charities on their official websites. 
  • Be cautious of suspicious emails; avoid clicking on links or opening attachments. 
  • Double-check social media solicitations for charitable donations; crowdfunding requests may not always be vetted. 

Staying informed and vigilant is crucial in the aftermath of natural emergencies and — at worst, disasters. Verify calls, requests, and organizations, and exercise caution with personal information and donations. By doing so, you can protect yourself and your community from falling victim to scams. 

Follow us on social media, where we always share helpful tips to avoid scams and more! Because U matter to Me, to all of us, at UMe. 

Disclaimer: U matter to Me (all of us) at UMe — and that’s why we do our best to deliver helpful information on our blog. Please note the following: (1) UMe Credit Union works hard to make certain that the information we post here is as accurate as humanly possible. But as you know, information can change and evolve quickly. While we try to update the blog on a regular basis, the content of some older posts may not be correct or up-to-date. (2) Some destinations on the World Wide Web that we link you to will exist on external websites. UMe Credit Union does not officially endorse any connected sites, nor do/did we compensate or get compensated by any entities to be featured in our posts (unless otherwise noted). (3) Everyone’s situation is unique and we advise you to consult with our personal bankers or your finance, tax, or legal professional for advice individualized to you!