After a disaster of any kind, such as a hurricane, flood, tornado or a fire, the people who are involved are in need of funding to help them replace the items that were lost. The government is often able to provide loans and other resources for those who are involved in a disaster. However, this money can take some time to get through the system and to reach the hands that need the funds. In the meantime, people try to come up with other ways to make money and to get help so that they can begin to rebuild. Unfortunately, this is a time when scammers come out to try to get money as well instead of helping those who are in need. If you have been involved with taking money from others, rest assured that an attorney can help get the charges or the sentence reduced.
One of the ways that you might be involved in a scam is to pretend that you are working for a charity. There are legitimate charities that will call people to get money for disaster relief. However, you might be caught up in calling for a charity that doesn’t exist, or you might try to pretend that you’re working with a charity that isn’t legitimate. When you call to solicit money, you would likely give the name of the charity and how it helps others before getting a credit card or debit card number.
After a disaster, there will be a need for new homes, businesses and other construction tasks. This is one of the scams that is easy to pull off. You might offer to repair a building or build a new structure for a lower price than other companies. You would make a promise to do the work, take the money or part of the money up front and never go back to complete the job. It’s a scam that many people fall for as they likely aren’t thinking about anything other than getting a home built once again so that they can have somewhere for the family to live.
Price gouging is a common scheme that yo usually hear about on the television. This is when companies, such as gas stations and grocery stores, increase the price of goods to a level that is absurd. There will likely be a bit of an increase in some goods and services, but price gouging is when the amount is significantly inflated to the point that no one can afford the product any longer. It’s often seen at gas stations as they will try to raise the price of gasoline by several dollars a gallon in order to make a profit. You could be involved in price gouging because you work for a company and have to raise prices or lose your job, or you might want to try to get more money from customers because you know that they need the services and goods that you provide.
Property insurance fraud is when you would claim to be with an insurance company to get information from the home owner. You could also inflate the insurance claim in order to get money once the claim has been processed without telling the home owner that the claim has been increased.
Each scheme is a crime in its own way. There are various punishments for each crime that is committed depending on the severity. Most of the people who are involved in a disaster fraud scheme will have to pay a fine and likely pay back the money that was taken from the victim or victims. Some people involved will spend time in jail, especially if the amount of money is a large amount. If you are charged with disaster fraud, an attorney can look at the crime to determine how to get the charges or sentence reduced. Any documents relating to money taken should be given to the attorney to help determine how severe the charges could be before going to court.
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