In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Trade Commission reminds consumers that scams often follow disasters. The nation’s consumer protection agency warns people about urgent appeals for charitable donations, and cautions residents in stricken areas about fraudulent home repair offers.
If you are asked to make a charitable donation to help people in disaster-affected areas, consider these tips to giving wisely:
Fraudsters target disaster-affected areas, hoping to cash in on property owners’ insurance settlements and financial relief from the federal government. Home and business owners who need to hire a contractor should:
Ask for copies of the contractor’s general liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.