Stay Alert for Sandy-Related Scams

OPEN finance expert Mike Periu on the different types of scams and fraud that surface after a disaster like Hurricane Sandy.
President, Proximo, LLC
November 02, 2012 Most people respond to tragedies like Hurricane Sandy with a natural desire to help others through difficult times. A small segment of the population, however, responds differently; they see a ripe opportunity to commit fraud. In the days before Sandy hit, more than 1,000 Sandy-related domain names were registered. Many of these may be used to defraud unwitting consumers.

There are three main types of fraud expected to target consumers. Charity scams setup fake charities—many with similar names to famous charities—and target consumers for donations. Home repair fraud occurs when unlicensed contractors go door-to-door offering to make repairs with the endorsement of FEMA or some other agency when in reality they just plan to take your deposit and run. Finally flood-damaged car scams try to sell cars with water damage, which can lead to severe problems, without disclosing this damage to buyers.

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