In the aftermath of a devastating flood, Adriana found herself grappling with the loss of her family’s belongings and important documents. She stumbled upon an online advertisement promising quick and hassle-free document replacement services.
Intrigued and desperate to regain some sense of normalcy, Adriana clicked on the link that led her to a seemingly legitimate website. The site, adorned with reassuring testimonials and professional graphics, convinced her that they could swiftly replace all her lost documents for a reasonable fee. Adriana provided her personal information and credit card details, believing she had finally found a solution to her problems.
Days turned into weeks, and Adriana still had not received her documents or any updates from the supposed service. It wasn’t until a friend shared a news article about fraudulent disaster relief websites that Adriana realized the documents were not coming, and she had been scammed.
Did you spot the red flags?
- In her desperation and hurry to obtain the documents she had lost, Adriana clicked on the first website she saw, instead of researching and reading reviews.
- The website promised quick document replacement for a fee. Many government agencies will replace documents for free after an emergency.
What you should know about this scam
Verify URLs and phone numbers before giving any information to a company. Many scammers use look-alike websites or phone numbers.
While there are some legitimate third-party websites that help with document replacement, make sure to research and read reviews first.
Even if you were not impacted by a natural disaster, be on the lookout for these scams. Scammers often text or call and say you need to replace your Medicare card, Social Security card, or driver’s license. Always go to official agency websites and verify their phone number or go in person.