Colorado floods put authorities on-guard regarding money scams
Colorado residents are still grappling with the reality that they are left with after massive flooding. Clearly, those who have lost homes or have gotten injured or ill as a result of the weather disaster are vulnerable at this point. It is a low point in their lives, and legal officials warn that these vulnerable flood victims are now vulnerable to a different kind of disaster: a financial one.
Law enforcement warns that when there is a weather emergency like in Colorado, victims are at-risk of becoming white collar crime victims. History has resulted in police efforts during times like this to keep their eyes out for those whom they believe are trying to scam people during the aftermath of natural disasters.
More specifically, police suggest that flood victims and those who are concerned about the recent Colorado hardship be careful about to whom or where they donate and give their money. Police allege that scams come in the form of supposed workers who claim that they will fix someone’s home damage. Instead of fixing a roof, for example, they will take the homeowners’ money and run.
The Better Business Bureau warns that charity fraud also runs rampant after natural and other types of disasters. People might get calls from or open their doors to people who claim to be part of a charity. While there are many credible charity groups, officials are looking for people who lie about where donations are going and essentially steal from those who believe that they are donating to an important cause.
No matter the situation, anyone who is accused of committing fraud deserves the representation of a criminal defense lawyer. Courts already are hard on those accused of white collar crime. When situations involve a tragedy like the recent Colorado flood damage, the stigma used against a defendant would probably be even greater.
Source: ABC 7 News, “Scams target Colorado flood victims, people who want to donate to charity,” Phil Tenser, Sep. 17, 2013