Article | 2:22 min read

Spot these Scams in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters


Natural disasters can happen at any moment, and unfortunately, scammers aren’t far behind to take advantage of the situation.

Road sign with words “scam ahead”

You do everything you can to prepare for a natural disaster – making a plan, preparing your home, and having a plan for pets and children. While you’re well-prepared for the physical damage of severe weather, what about securing your personal information and finances during a weather emergency? Scammers will use any means necessary, including weather disasters, to take advantage of innocent people.

Use these tips to avoid common scams that occur in the aftermath of natural disasters .

  1. Crowdfunding Platforms

    It’s safest to donate money to someone you personally know and trust. If you decide to use a crowdfunding website, review the platform’s policies on donating in support of relief efforts. Not all crowdfunding platforms verify postings for help after disasters.
  2. Donating to Charity

    Before donating to charity, be sure to research exactly what the organization is. Charity scams occur when scammers try to make a quick profit by posing as a charity offering relief support. While it may have a familiar-sounding name, don’t assume a charity is legitimate because it claims to help. Only donate to verified charities with a proven record of offering assistance in disasters. Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s website for tips on donating wisely during a disaster.
  3. Requests Cash, Gift Cards, Wiring Money, or Cryptocurrency

    Be cautious of someone who only wants donations in cash, via gift cards, wiring money, or cryptocurrency. These methods are common ways scammers ask for money. It’s more secure to pay by credit card, and keep a close eye on the amount of money you’re charged. Review your account activity to ensure your donation amount is what you agreed to donate, and verify the charge isn’t set up as a recurring donation.
  4. Clean Up and Repair Scams

    If you or your property suffered damage during a natural disaster, be cautious of scammers approaching you to clean up debris, posing as a government official, or saying they can get you aid for a fee. Avoid anyone who demands your personal information or money upfront. According to the FTC, these are always scams. Use these tips from the FTC on dealing with weather emergencies.
  5. Rental Listing Scam

    If you’re in need of a place to stay after a natural disaster, be aware of people who ask for money upfront. Scammers will tell you to wire money or ask for a security deposit or rent, before you meet or sign a lease. These fraudulent listings may offer low rent or amenities that seem to good to be true – be sure to verify the address and research the landlord before sending any money.

If you’ve been affected by a natural disaster and there’s anything we can do to help, please contact us. To learn more on dealing with weather emergencies, visit the FTC’s website to prepare for inclement weather, and staying alert to disaster-related scams.

The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.