Scammers using robo-calls about insurance to fleece Hurricane Harvey survivors

The robo-calls tell people that their premiums are past due and that they must send money immediately or else have their flood insurance canceled.

News Story (Texas)

Joel Achenbach
Washington Post
August 31, 2017

Tags: Disaster Recovery

Organizations mentioned/involved: Lone Star Legal Aid


Every natural disaster attracts unscrupulous contractors and outright con artists. They’re like disaster parasites, looking to exploit the pain and confusion of a catastrophe for their own profit.

“They’re storm chasers. We know they’re here. We’re know they’re coming. Scammers,” said Saundra Brown, who handles disaster response for Lone Star Legal Aid in Houston.

She described a typical move by dishonest contractors: They ask a survivor to sign a contract for repairs on a digital tablet, but when printed out, the bid is thousands of dollars higher. Or the survivor may have unwittingly assigned FEMA disaster aid over to the scammer.