FTC Advice for Hurricane Victims and People Who Want to Help

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Tips for Consumers
How to Verify a Hurricane Relief Charity infographic: Find lists of verified charities on give.org, charitynavigator.org, charitywatch.org, guidestar.org. Be alert to names that closely resemble those of better-known, reputable organizations. Designate the relief effort you wish to support. Search the charity name online. Do people say it's a scam? Research charities that spring up overnight. Be skeptical of callers thanking you for a pledge you don't remember making. Report scams to ftc.gov/complaint.
The Scam: What to Do infographic: The scam: A contractor promises to remove debris and clean up immediately - if you pay cash, up front. What to do: 1. Steer clear of contractors who ask to be paid in cash or for a cash deposit. 2. Ask the contractor for their license and certificate of insurance. 3. Confirm with local officials that the license is current.

The Federal Trade Commission has information for people affected by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, and for those who want to contribute to relief efforts.

If you’d like to donate money to a charity, the FTC blog post, Make your hurricane donations count, describes how to make sure your dollars go to the causes you support. See the infographic, How to Verify a Hurricane Relief Charity, for a summary of this information.

After natural disasters, unlicensed contractors and scammers often promise clean-up and debris removal, but some of them want payment up-front for work they never do, and others lack the skills, licenses, and insurance to legally do the work. The blog post, Avoid hurricane clean-up scams, has tips to protect yourself, your property, and your money. See the infographic, The Scam: What to Do, for a summary of this information.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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