- Don’t fall victim to the hype of shocking photos. This scam is abundant during all types of disasters and tragedies. Thieves prey on curiosity and, when you click the link to the shocking photo or video, your computer typically gets infected with malware. Check legitimate sites like your local news station or newspaper for up-to-date information, pictures, and video. Be wary of link on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites.
- Watch out for scammy charitable organisations that have similar names to more reputable resources. These sites often end in .com (instead of the typical .org for non-profits) and are setup to fool you into thinking you’re donating to a good cause. In reality, you’re donating your money and personal and financial information to thieves.
- Double check the legitimacy of the site you’re clicking to from your email, Facebook, or elsewhere. When in doubt, check your local American Red Cross or the National FEMA site to find local help.
- If you’ve experienced damage to any of your personal property, always call your insurance company first. Don’t fall for fly-by-night ‘professionals’ that make false guarantees about a claims check, damage appraisal, inspection, or water quality testing.
- Protect important information and documents. Whether you’re in a shelter, staying with friends or crashing on your family’s couch, never let these items leave your sight. They are the key to your identity—and you will need this information to prove who you are.
- Call your bank, credit union, insurer or financial planner to see if they offer identity theft management services. Some financial institutions offer this service for free, as a perk for being a member or account holder.
- Be proactive and check your credit report by calling 1-877-322-8228 or visiting this website. Consider adding an initial security alert to your credit report, by visiting this Experian website or by calling 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742).
- Ask the post office to hold your mail until you return home. If you must evacuate, this will keep thieves from finding sensitive materials that are left in your mailbox.
For more, head to IDT911Blog.com.
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