Washington, D.C.— A warning from the leaders of the Senate Aging Committee: Be on the lookout for con artists trying to take advantage of victims in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee, are urging people, particularly older Americans, to be cautious of con artists who often target vulnerable communities following natural disasters.
Reports from federal agencies such as FEMA, the Federal Trade Commission, IRS, and others, indicate scammers are calling people in hopes of stealing money for reasons related to recent hurricanes. Such calls could be about phony relief funds and charities, fraudulent flood insurance premiums past due notices, and unlicensed contractors helping with cleanup efforts who demand payment up-front for work they never do or simply lack the skills, licenses, and insurance to legally do the work.
“Putting a stop to aggressive and ruthless scams targeted at older Americans is one of our top priorities on the Senate Aging Committee,” said Senators Collins and Casey in a joint statement. “In these times of crisis, criminals will undoubtedly try to take advantage of those in need. While their actions are despicable, it is best to be diligent about who you are dealing with over the phone, and to check with your local officials for reputable sources of aid.”
If you suspect fraud or suspicious activity, please call your local police department. In addition, you can contact the Senate Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.