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  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Hurricane Dorian,   

    States warn of hurricane charity scams 

    States warn of hurricane charity scams

    Hurricane Dorian has already devastated the Bahamas. It’s now threatening the East Coast with damaging wind and rains. Even though it’s been downgraded to a category 2 hurricane it’s still expected to cause major damage to Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Victims of the hurricane, whether in the US or the Caribbean, will be looking to charitable donations to help rebuild what they’ve lost from the storm. While it’s always a good idea to donate to those in need you should always be careful about who you’re donating to. As we’ve been saying, natural disasters tend to bring out any number of con artists and scammers and they often tend to pose as charities.

    Both the Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau are warning those willing to donate to not fall for phony charities. Robocallers will soon be hitting up unsuspecting people asking for donations for storm relief. They’re hoping that people are willing to pay the first person who comes along asking for money. Too often people are willing to do this. While the donators’ hearts are in the right place it doesn’t help those in need.

    Florida has set up the Fresh From Florida website to help you pick a legitimate charity. Meanwhile, the BBB has Give.org to guide you to the best charity suited for you and the victims of the storm.

    Some more tips to avoid charity scams include not paying a supposed charity with gift cards or wire transfers as these are the most common tools scammers use to take your money. Also, beware of crowdfunding sites that give vague statements about who the money is going to. If they something along the lines of the money is going to the ‘victims of Hurricane Dorian’ without citing a specific charity the odds are likely it is a scam.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: flood cars, Hurricane Dorian,   

    This hurricane scam could hit anywhere in the US 

    This hurricane scam could hit anywhere in the US

    While Hurricane Dorian may not make landfall in the Southeastern United States, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be damage to those areas. With hurricanes also comes the possibility of massive flooding. More people perish in hurricanes from water than they do from wind damage. And as we’ve mentioned before, whenever there is a natural disaster there will be scammers to take advantage of it. Previously we’ve discussed price gouging when it comes to hurricanes but that usually only affects people being directly impacted by the hurricane. There is another scam that can affect anyone in the United States.

    Whenever a hurricane causes widespread flooding a great number of cars and other vehicles will be totaled in the flood. Technically a flood car is not supposed to be sold intact unless it is marked so on the title. This has not stopped scammers from trying to sell these cars to unwitting victims. These vehicles are not just sold in hurricane-prone areas either as they can end up being sold anywhere in the country and years after the hurricane happened. In order to avoid buying one of these vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends avoiding cars being sold that claim to have ‘lost’ titles. You should also check for any kind of flood damage such as excessive rust, must odors, or mold.

    The NHTSA also recommends avoiding any robocalls about your vehicle if it was totaled in a flood. Instead, you should immediately call your insurance company to start the process of your insurance claim. If you suspect someone of trying to sell you a damaged flood vehicle you can report it to the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline toll-free at 866-720-5721 or at the FTC’s website.

  • Geebo 7:10 am on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Hurricane Dorian,   

    State launches price gouging app ahead of hurricane 

    State launches price gouging app ahead of hurricane

    Hurricane Dorian is expected to make landfall in Florida as a Category 3 hurricane within the next few days. Governor Ron DeSantis has already declared a state of emergency in preparation for the potentially devastating storm. Whenever a hurricane is expected residents in the affected area will always be in a mad scramble for supplies and lodging that they might need during the emergency. Unfortunately, this can lead to price gouging with some vendors and hotels as they may look to take advantage of the situation. However, the Sunshine State has taken steps to try to combat price gouging.

    The Florida Attorney General’s Office has released a smartphone app called ‘No Scam’ that is designed to help Florida residents to report price gouging. The app is available on both Apple and Android phones. The app will allow residents to add pictures and copies of receipts from their phone speeding up the reporting process. Florida takes price gouging very seriously as those caught artificially inflating prices can be fined $1,000 per infraction and can be fined up to $25,000 in a 24 hour period.

    For whatever reason, if the app were to give you any kind of trouble you can still report price gouging to Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline at 1-866-966-7226, or their website at myfloridalegal.com. It is recommended that you either keep your receipt or take a picture of the inflated charge before submitting a report.

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