Many survivors are under tremendous stress and more vulnerable to fraud. Criminals know it. After a natural disaster strikes, there often is an uptick in disaster fraud, charitable solicitations fraud, price gouging and contractor and vendor fraud, per Fraud magazine.
Residents of these top 10 states for disasters are particularly at risk: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, or Texas. But everyone should take measures to protect important documents and identifying information.
First Security’s partner, CyberScout, has put together these tips to protect you, your families and your sensitive information after disaster strikes:
1. Hold your mail. Ask the U.S. Postal Service to hold mail until you’re settled. Consider getting a post office box to keep thieves from sensitive materials left in your mailbox.
2. Watch out for scams. Disasters attract good Samaritans, but they also attract criminals looking to take advantage of people in a time of distress. Here are just a few scams to watch out for:
3. Identity thieves. 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.
4. Take immediate action. If you discover that you are missing any identification, financial instruments, or any item that can be used to commit fraud or harm your identity do not hesitate to report it. The longer you wait, the more damage that can be done by criminals and identity thieves.
How First Security can help
CyberScout offers Disaster Recovery Assistance for victims of natural disasters. We can help you with things like replacing stolen or destroyed documents and identification, identity theft resolution and more.
As a First Security account holder, you have free, one-on-one access to highly trained and experienced fraud specialists at CyberScout. To find out how you are covered by Disaster Recovery Assistance, simply call First Security at (800) 272-0159 and we'll immediately transfer you to an on-demand fraud specialist at CyberScout to give you the help you need. Outside of banking hours, you can call CyberScout at (877) 432-7463 to speak directly to a fraud specialist.
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