As Hurricane Sandy cleanup begins, investors across the nation are urged to pay attention to disaster-related investments and the potential for investment fraud. Unfortunately, some fraudsters see hurricane victims and those who want to help as easy prey for investment scams. As investment fraud lawyers, we would like to take the time to explain a little bit more about the types of scams that follow hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
What Kinds of Scams Accompany Natural Disasters Like Hurricane Sandy?
The most prevalent types of investment scams after natural disasters include:
Scams targeting victims. Fraudsters may go after hurricane victims with high-yield investment fraud or Ponzi schemes that claim they can quickly provide high returns, which can be an attractive offer if you’ve recently lost everything. Some schemes may try to use “ affinity fraud” or appeal to your sense of community to get you hooked. All of these schemes popped up after Hurricane Katrina; it’s likely the same will be true of Hurricane Sandy.
Scams targeting those who want to help. Some con artists may use the recent news of hurricane damage as an excuse to pitch fake investments in various cleanup efforts or rebuilding projects. If someone is pitching you any investment related to a recent natural disaster, you should be wary and consider it a red flag.
Why Do Natural Disaster Investment Scams Happen?
Unfortunately, some con artists look at the aftermath of a natural disaster and see an opportunity to line their own pockets. By appealing to a sense of what has been lost and promising a better future, fraudsters take advantage of vulnerable victims and lure them into scams. Fraudsters may also take advantage of the large insurance payments for damage and the many inexperienced investors who hope to rebuild and plan for the future.
And, of course, con artists will commonly appeal to investors from outside of the area who feel for the victims and want to help. They may pressure you to invest in the rebuilding effort or attempt to make you feel bad for wanting to sleep on it or do some background research.
How to Get Help with Hurricane Sandy Investment Fraud
And, if you need help after losing money in a Ponzi scheme or investment scam related to a natural disaster, please feel free to give us a call to schedule a completely free and confidential consultation with an experienced investment fraud lawyer today.