SCARS™ Guide: Natural Disaster Frauds & Scams

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Guide: Natural Disaster Frauds & ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

As Another Major Hurricane Approaches The Department Of Justice Reminds The Public To Be Aware Of FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. And Report It To The National Center For Disaster Fraud

NATIONAL CENTER FOR DISASTER FRAUD (NCDF)

The Department of Justice established the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when billions of dollars in federal disaster relief poured into the Gulf Coast region, which opened opportunities for criminals to exploit people during vulnerable times.  The NCDF, a national coordinating agency within the Department’s CriminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. Division, operates a call center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and serves as a centralized clearinghouse for disaster fraud complaints and information relating to both natural and man-made disasters.  The NCDF seeks to improve and further the detection, prevention, investigation, and prosecution of fraud related to natural and man-made disasters, and to advocate for victims of such fraud.  More than 20 federal, state, and local agencies participate in the NCDF, which allows them to forward on complaints to the appropriate agency for investigation.

“Following Hurricane Dorian’s landfall and as recovery efforts continue, it is important for people to be on the lookout for fraudsters who seek to profit from natural disasters through identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources. schemes, impersonationImpersonation An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors. of government officials and solicitations for fake charities,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.  “The Department of Justice is committed to detecting this type of fraud, and we will aggressively prosecute the offenders. Through our National Center for Disaster Fraud, and in conjunction with our law enforcement partners, we are working to keep Americans from becoming victims of these schemes.”

After every Hurricane’s landfall, many people are left without food, water, or shelter, and are experiencing devastating damage to life and property.  Unfortunately, there are criminals ready to take advantage of victims before, during, and especially after a natural disaster.  They are looking to strike those at their most vulnerable time.

While compassion, assistance, and solidarity are generally prevalent in the aftermath of natural disasters, unscrupulous individuals and organizations also use these tragic events to take advantage of those in need.

Avoid Natural Disaster Scams

Avoid Natural Disaster Scams

Examples Of Illegal Activity Being Reported To The NCDF And Law Enforcement Include:

  • Impersonation of federal law enforcement officials;
  • Identity theft;
  • Fraudulent submission of claims to insurance companies and the federal government;
  • Fraudulent activity related to solicitations for donations and charitable giving;
  • Fraudulent activity related to individuals and organizations promising high investment returns from profits from recovery and cleanup efforts;
  • Price gouging;
  • Contractor Fraud;
  • Debris removal fraud;
  • Theft, looting, and other violent crime

Numerous U.S. Attorney Offices in districts impacted by recent hurricanes have established task forces comprised of local, state and federal agencies in their respective areas to combat disaster fraud.

“The NCDF has an excellent staff of investigators, analysts, call center operators, and managers who are well prepared to handle the anticipated volume of complaints after the recent hurricanes and help ensure that each report of fraud reaches the appropriate investigative agency,” said U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin for the Middle District of Louisiana, who is also the NCDF’s Executive Director.  “Raising public awareness is a great way for the NCDF to reach thousands of people who may one day be subjected to fraudulent schemes.”

Members of the public are reminded to apply a critical eye and exercise due diligence before trusting anyone purporting to be working on behalf of disaster victims.  They should also exercise the same care before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations on behalf of disaster victims as well as being extremely cautious before providing personal identifying or financial information to anyone, especially those who may contact you after a natural disaster.  Solicitations can originate from e-mails, websites, door-to-door collections, mailings and telephone calls, and similar methods.

Members of the public who suspect fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll-free at (866) 720-5721.   The telephone line is staffed by live operators 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also fax information to the Center at (225) 334-4707, or email it to disaster@leo.gov.

Learn more about the NCDF at www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud and watch a public service announcement here.

Tips for the public on how to avoid being victimized of fraud are here – click here ».

In addition, SCARS / RSN maintains a Natural Disaster Fraud page on Facebook for more information: www.facebook.com/Avoid.Disaster.Fraud

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SCARS the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated

 

SCARS™ Team
A SCARS Division
Miami Florida U.S.A.

 

 

TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost., SCARS Guide, Natural Disaster Frauds & Scams, Major Hurricane, U.S. Department Of Justice, Be Aware Of Fraud, Report It, The National Center For Disaster Fraud, NCDF

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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
  2. Your National Police or FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. « www.IC3.gov »
  3. The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network « HERE » or on « www.Anyscam.com »

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.


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Visit our NEW Main SCARS Facebook page for much more information about scams and online crime: « www.facebook.com/SCARS.News.And.Information »

 

To learn more about SCARS visit « www.AgainstScams.org »

Please be sure to report all scammers
« HERE » or on « www.Anyscam.com »

 

 

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SCARS, RSN, Romance Scams Now, SCARS|WORLDWIDE, SCARS|GLOBAL, SCARS, Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS., Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, SCARS|ANYSCAM, Project Anyscam, Anyscam, SCARS|GOFCH, GOFCH, SCARS|CHINA, SCARS|CDN, SCARS|UK, SCARS Cybercriminal Data Network, Cobalt Alert, Scam Victims Support GroupSupport Group In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers., are all trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated.

Contact the law firm for the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated by email at legal@AgainstScams.org

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