Scammers and identity thieves are always there to take advantage of every natural disaster and Hurricane Isaac which has wreaked havoc in the Gulf coast will be no exception. Scammers and identity thieves will prey upon the victims of the storm, claiming to be either insurance claims representatives or FEMA employees. They will require personal information from the victims in order to process their claims, but all that will happen is that the storm victims will then become identity theft victims. As for those of us who were not affected by the storm, but want to assist the victims through charitable donations, there will be plenty of phony charities ready to take our money without ever helping the real victims of the storm.
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be an insurance claim representative or FEMA representative, don’t trust their identification cards. Those can be forged. Confirm the identity of anyone seeking information from you with your insurance company or FEMA itself. Also remember, your insurance company has no need for your Social Security number which an identity thief will most likely ask for. As for making charitable contributions, check out the charity on the free website www.charitynavigator.org which will not only tell you if the charity is legitimate or not, but also tell you how much of what you give actually goes to the needy.