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Consumer Alert

September is National Preparedness Month: Make a plan now

Colleen Tressler, FTC, Division of Consumer and Business Education
Extreme weather and natural disasters can occur with little warning. Communities spared in the past have suffered devastating losses this year, and many are still recovering. National Preparedness Month is a great time to get ready for whatever may come your way.
Consumer Alert

Potential scams following Tropical Storm Hilary in Southern California and Western states

Gema de las Heras
In the wake of Tropical Storm Hilary’s wind damage and catastrophic flooding — to say nothing of the California “hurriquake” — scammers are likely to follow. As people in affected areas try to rebuild and recover, scammers will say they’re a government official offering help, or a contractor who can do the work you need quickly. Help and quick action are good…but how do you spot the scammers?  
Consumer Alert

Picking up the pieces after the Maui wildfires

Colleen Tressler
Wind-driven wildfires are causing devastation to the Hawaiian island of Maui. Nobody knows how long it will take to recover from the destruction, but we do know it won’t be long before scammers start trying to cash in. As the smoke begins to clear, here’s some advice to help you spot, avoid, and report disaster-related scams.
Consumer Alert

How to make sure your donations count when weather disasters strike

Colleen Tressler
Throw a dart at a map of the U.S. and chances are you’ll land on a community that suffered severe weather this year. Whether it’s landslides on the West Coast, extreme ice storms in the South, spring tornadoes across the Midwest, recent flooding in the Northeast, or the wildfires consuming the Hawaiian island of Maui, communities have experienced devastating losses ― and many are still recovering. With any weather disaster, you may consider a charitable donation to help those affected. But how you can avoid charity scams?
Consumer Alert

How to spot and avoid post-disaster scams in the Northeast

Colleen Tressler
As recovery efforts continue in areas of the Northeast hit hard by devastating flooding, scammers aren’t far behind. Your tragedy is an opportunity for them, and they'll try to take advantage. If one of the recent storms damaged your home, you might get offers to do things like help you clean up debris or get financial help. The offer might even seem to come from a government official. But how do you know what’s real?
Consumer Alert

Getting your finances back on track after Hurricane Ian

Gema de las Heras
After a natural disaster, the road to recovery — financial and otherwise — can be long and bumpy. As you begin picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, here are some things to think about as you develop a plan to regain your financial stability:
Consumer Alert

How to donate wisely after a disaster

Colleen Tressler

As residents across Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri begin taking stock following the devastating series of tornadoes that hit their states, you might be looking

Consumer Alert

How to spot, stop, and report post-disaster scams

Colleen Tressler

Whether you’re starting to assess the damage from Hurricane Ida, the recent flooding in Tennessee, the wildfires in the West, or another natural disaster, coping with the aftermath is never easy.