Protect yourself from disaster scams

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Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 10:26 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is urging consumers to prepare as the impact of Ian approaches and to be on the lookout for scams.

Organize your finances. Collect your most recent financial and identification documents and keep them in a safe, dry place. Be prepared to take them with you.

Review your insurance policies. Become familiar with the types of levels of coverage you have. Consider taking an inventory of valuables in case you need to file a claim.

Create a plan with the help of SCEMD’s Hurricane Guide.

Be on the lookout for price gouging. Report excessively priced items like food, gas, a-nd lodging to local police and the Office of the Attorney General. Email reports to pricegouging@scag.gov or call 803-737-3953.

The SCDCA said consumers looking to help those affected by Ian should also be on the lookout for scams. Fraudsters take advantage of the headlines when disaster strikes. Keep the following in mind to protect your personal information and money:

  • Watch for scammers pretending to be government agencies like FEMA or SCEMD, to seem more official. Don’t be afraid to ask for identification. Don’t be afraid to cut off contact with someone who is asking for personal identifying information like your Social Security number or financial information. . Don’t be afraid to ask for identification. Don’t be afraid to cut off contact with someone who is asking for personal identifying information like your Social Security number or financial information.
  • Be suspicious of groups that approach you for donations or seem to appear out of nowhere. Do not assume a charity is legitimate based on its name. To search for the charity’s name visit here or call 1-888-242-7484.
  • Do not send uncommon forms of payment. If someone is requesting you to donate by gift card, cryptocurrency or wire transfer, this is a sign of a scam.
  • Report disaster scams here or call 1-844-835-5322.

For more information on disasters, see SCDCA’s guide to Recovering from a Disaster and Beware of Disaster Scams.

MORE NEWS: Guide to latest forecast and resources ahead of Ian