Blog Briefing Room

DOJ warns of potential fraud following Hurricane Ian

Greg Nash
The Department of Justice logo is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, August 5, 2021 prior to a press conference regarding a civil rights matter.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is warning people to be aware of potential fraud in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. 

The DOJ’s National Center for Disaster Fraud said Friday that there is no reason to believe that criminals will slow down their efforts to defraud those already suffering from the storm. 

The center said in a DOJ release that people should be aware of fraudulent activities like fake charities immediately soliciting donations using the names of well-known charities and people overcharging for goods and services that hurricane victims need.  

Fraudsters might also impersonate government officials or insurance company representatives and claim that disaster assistance is available if someone provides personal information like a Social Security number. 

The release states that people are often victimized by property theft from businesses and homes that were abandoned during the natural disaster. 

The center is advising people to only make donations to known charities, contacting them directly and doing research on them. Individuals should also never click on a link in an unsolicited email or text or assume that charity solicitations posted online are legitimate. 

Cash donations to charities should be avoided, and donations should not be given to a specifically named individual, according to the center. 

People can also call a government agency or insurance company to double-check if someone is impersonating an official or representative. 

Hurricane Ian ravaged Florida and other parts of the southeastern United States last week, making landfall as a Category 4 storm. It was one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall in the country and has been confirmed to have killed more than 100 people, a number that is expected to rise.

Tags fraud Hurricane Ian Justice Department National Center for Disaster Fraud storm damage
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