In a video released today, Linda Webb, President of Contego Services Group, LLC outlines tips for hurricane victims that may be targeted by fraudsters in the aftermath of the storm. States around the gulf coast are bracing for Hurricane Isaac to make landfall as a Category 1 storm. Clean up and structural repairs will be needed in the wake of Isaac and this presents an opportunity for fraudsters. Often overlooked after a storm are the unlicensed “contractors” that quickly flock to storm ravished towns promising quick repairs, insurance agents willing to backdate insurance policies, and scammers posing as FEMA or other governmental agency workers. Webb, also known as the Fraud Dog, summarizes the three most common scams associated with natural disasters: the relief worker scam, the contractor repair scam, and the fake insurance scam. In the Fraud Dog Tips video, Webb, discusses ways that victims can protect themselves from each scam.
The relief worker scam involves people who claim to be affiliated with governmental agencies that are really out to capture your personal identifiable information. These scam artists take advantage of people affected by the storm by promising relief money from a governmental agency such as FEMA. The Fraud Dog reminds storm victims to always be leery of any unsolicited approaches after a storm, ask for identification from anyone claiming to be from the government, and alert the authorities if you see something suspicious.
The contractor repair scam is the most common fraud accompanying hurricanes. People claiming to be contractors target storm ravaged areas telling homeowners to pay half of the cost of repairs upfront with the promise that they will return the next day to start working. These people are oftentimes completely unlicensed. Contractor fraudsters take the storm victim’s cash and never return to make repairs. Webb warns to never pay in advance for repairs, and always verify a contractor’s license.
Lastly, the fake insurance scam targets homeowners that may not have had homeowners insurance prior to a storm ripping through their area. This scam involves an agent that will backdate an insurance policy that will pay for storm damage. The Fraud Dog says, “Insurance agents backdating insurance policies during a natural disaster is fraud.” Do not fall prey to the temptation of the fake insurance scam or you could end up in deeper trouble than not having homeowner’s insurance.
Webb has dedicated her professional life to stopping fraud and has seen all of these scams before on multiple occasions. She reminds natural disaster victims that the fraudster goes to great lengths to hide their true identity. Always get a business card of anyone you are doing business with. Additionally, ask to see a driver’s license and verify that the name on the business card and license are the same. Lastly, take a picture of the person, even with a cell phone camera, as this may prove to be a crucial piece of evidence in case you are a victim of fraud.
Linda Webb is currently the President of Contego Services Group, LLC, a provider of innovative insurance services including the SWARM™ service model, a swift-working approach to catastrophic insurance claims. To learn more about Contego Services Group, LLC, visit http://www.ContegoServicesGroup.com. The Fraud Dog is a national speaker and fraud expert in many areas of insurance fraud with experience investigating the most complex organized crime rings, insurance fraud, mortgage and financial fraud, and Medicare and healthcare fraud. To learn more about Linda Webb, the Fraud Dog, visit http://www.thefrauddog.com.
Watch Fraud Dog Tips here: http://vimeo.com/48394118
To report potentially fraudulent activity, contact Linda Webb aka The Fraud Dog, leading fraud expert at 1-855-FRAUD-DOG.