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Fire recovery scams on the rise amid fire season

SALINAS, Calif. (KION)- With wildfires reducing homes to rubble, many homeowners find themselves at a complete loss. On top of this, scammers are taking this time to take advantage of fire recovery donations.

Fire victims are at a loss when a fire rips through their home leaving them with nothing.

Although a glimmer of hope comes when a person starts a charity to help those in need. Only sometimes, they aren’t legit.

"If you are being asked to pay for services prior to receiving benefits in a disaster it's likely that’s not legitimate."

Dorothy Priolo states some of these potential scams appear on social media and to do your research should you become suspicious of an organization offering help.

"If that happens you'll want to make sure first of all that they are a legitimate company if there's a contractor trying to assist with repairs you do want to double-check their background to make sure they are a licensed contractor"

There are ways to prepare before the fire, of course, to prevent yourself from turning to charities for help.

Keeping copies handy of your vital records is key. Some of these items include driver’s license, passports, birth certificates, and bank information.

Also taking the time to look into insurance may just help you save some of those items

"Many lending institutions require that you maintain homeowners insurance not only for the replacement of the home itself but there are different levels of coverage for the contents in your home"

In the event of losing your belongings sites like ready dot gov and ready for wildfire.org can be of assistance to you.

Central Coast / Special Reports / Top Stories
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Taryn Mitchell

Taryn Mitchell is a weekend anchor and multimedia journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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