Crime, Department of Justice, Disasters / Emergencies, Securities and Exchange Commission

In The Aftermath Of Disaster, The Scam Artists Come Out

On any list of “scum of the Earth,” people who profiteer off of disaster victims have to make the list. Jesus, it’d be worth Hell existing just so there would be a place for people who take advantage of disasters to loot electronics or valuables (food, if you’re hungry and nobody is home, is fair game I guess). I think there are reasonable people on both sides of the New York City marathon debate, but the thought of any police not stopping a looter to deal with the marathon makes me think they should cancel this year’s event.

Of course, looters aren’t the only kinds of criminals trying to take advantage of the hurricane. The Department of Justice is warning people to be on the lookout for Sandy scams…

The DOJ and the SEC are warning people to watch out and report potential scams, according to the WSJ Law Blog:

The Securities and Exchange Commission also has issued an alert for investors to be wary of potential investment scams, particularly those receiving lump sum insurance payouts.

Prosecutors and regulators are warning the public to watch out for unsolicited emails on disaster relief and to be cautious of individuals who represent themselves as victims or officials asking for donations by email or social-networking sites.

You don’t want people to be hard-hearted, but you should really only be giving money to people you personally know or to trusted organizations. For example, McGuireWoods is encouraging its partners and employees to support the American Red Cross through a matching contribution program.

It’s important to report possible scams. Sure, some of these will be so obvious you’ll think nobody could fall for them, but people always do. Letting the DOJ know about these things is a little bit we can all do to help out our neighbors.

Feds: Be Wary of Sandy-Related Scams [WSJ Law Blog]

(hidden for your protection)

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