Camden, N.J. – After Hurricane Isaias and with multiple storms in the New Jersey area in the forecast, many families might be dealing with damage to their homes and cars. While there are legitimate companies who are there to help those dealing with storm-related issues, scammers also use it as an opportunity to steal money under false pretenses.
Though some companies, like window or tree businesses, might go door-to-door to ask if you have any issues you need help with, most are not using this business practice during COVID-19. If someone knocks on your door claiming to be from a company who specializes in storm-related issues, detectives said the best response is to talk to them through a closed, locked door or doorbell camera.
You can ask the person their company name, their name, and to leave a business card. However, some scammers will put their personal number on a business card claiming to be from a legitimate company, so detectives said Google the company and call their main line to ask if the person is employed there. This same method works for anyone who calls and claims to be from a company.
Other potential scams include fake fundraisers or charities claiming to raise money for victims. The New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs recommends researching a company or fundraiser before giving money; if you do decide to donate, detectives said use a credit card that has fraud protection.
Lastly, never provide person information to someone who calls and says they’re from your insurance company, utility company, or any other business without verifying the call is legitimate. Detectives said you can ask for your account number or hang up and call the company back to ensure you’re speaking to a real employee.
For more tips on weather-related scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s webpage.