Natural disaster fraud awareness

Learn how to spot scams along the road to disaster recovery.

The aftermath of severe weather can bring out the best in people. But they also create opportunities for fraud that preys us when we’re most vulnerable. Identity theft, fake disaster-relief payments, and solicitations for scam charities become all too common.

Fraudsters pose as government officials, contractors, repair workers, or insurance adjusters to mask their identities and their intentions. They contact potential victims with email, SMS, and phone calls—even making unsolicited in-person visits. Disaster scams take many forms, but their goals are similar.

How disaster fraud appears

Government disaster assistance organizations

Component ID : "accordionGridLayout-1459738815"
Model : "faq"
Position : "left"

Officials with government disaster assistance agencies, such as FEMA, will never call or text requesting personal or financial account information. 

There are no fees to apply for or to receives disaster assistance from FEMA or the Small Business Administration. 

Post-disaster insurance scams

Component ID : "accordionGridLayout-1248913602"
Model : "faq"
Position : "left"

Fraudsters will often pose as a contractor or home improvement company reps partnering with insurance companies. If contacted, never give out policy numbers, coverage details, or personal information without first verifying their identity. 

Disaster relief charity scams

Component ID : "accordionGridLayout-1220527709"
Model : "faq"
Position : "left"

Fraudsters will create fake charities to solicit funds during natural disasters. Always check the legitimacy or the charity through its official website or the National Association of State Charity Officials

Common characteristics of disaster fraud

All contact types

Component ID : "accordionGridLayout-68690563"
Model : "faq"
Position : "left"

Fraudsters often pressure their victims into immediate action to achieve faster relief or avoid negative consequences. Before providing information, always verify their intent with the company or agency they claim to represent—and make sure that company is also legit.

Fraudsters always seek to gather more information on their potential victims. This can include an address, Social Security number, account numbers, insurance policies, or PINs.

Never provide details during an unsolicited contact. Always verify their intent with the company or agency they claim to represent—and make sure that company is also legit.

Phishing (email) or smishing (SMS)

Component ID : "accordionGridLayout-148709630"
Model : "faq"
Position : "left"

One tell-tale sign of fraud is a message riddled with grammatical errors. Look for incorrect word or tense usage, misspellings, or missing or incorrect punctuation.

Never click on a link in a suspicious email or text message. These links can download malicious software or viruses or redirect to a fake website. Either can lead to your personal and financial information being compromised. 

Let’s win the fight against fraud.

For more information on how to identify and report fraud, you’ll find everything you need at Truist Fraud & Security.

 Visit Truist Fraud & Security

Find payment relief when you need it.

When disasters strike, sometimes you need a little extra help. You’ll find it on our payment relief site.

Find payment relief

Need other ways to get in touch with Truist? Find who you’re looking for on our contact page.

Contact us