Two years after the Dixie fire, some residents and community members are in the process of receiving insurance or settlement money as a result of damages they suffered from the fire.
Local officials are alerting the general public to be aware of scams and people who take advantage during and after a time of disaster and crisis. In particular:
- Be skeptical of anyone promising immediate clean-up and repairs. Some may quote outrageous prices, demand payment up front, or lack the skills needed.
- Check them out. Before you pay, ask for IDs, licenses, and proof of insurance. Don’t believe any promises that aren’t in writing.
- Never pay by wire transfer, gift card, cryptocurrency, or in cash. Scammers ask for these types of payments because, once they’ve collected the money, it’s almost impossible for you to get it back. And never make the final payment until the work is done and you’re satisfied.
- Guard your personal information. Only scammers will say they’re a government official and then demand money or your credit card, bank account, or Social Security number.
- Know that FEMA doesn’t charge application fees. If someone wants money to help you qualify for FEMA funds, that’s probably a scam.
- Look out for rental listing scams. Steer clear of people who tell you to wire money or ask for security deposits or rent before you’ve met or signed a lease.
- Spot disaster-related charity scams. Scammers will often try to make a quick profit from the misfortune of others. Check out the Federal Trade Commission’s advice below on donating wisely and avoiding charity scams.
- Be cautious of loaning money and/or giving. Keep your financial information confidential.
Other resources include:
Plumas County Fraud Awareness: https://www.plumascounty.us/2421/FACT-Fraud-Prevention-Resources
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Advice Division: https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2022/08/scammers-target-disaster-victims-spot-their-traps
Information submitted by Dixie Fire Collaborative