After disasters, scammers try to get you to donate to phony charities, and they pose as home repair company representatives.

When disaster strikes, and you want to help financially, make sure you:

  • Donate to legitimate charities, which you can find at:
    • Better Business Bureau —
    • Charity Navigator —
    • Charity Watch —
  • Avoid following donation links in unsolicited emails or texts.
  • Research social media posts to make sure they are legitimate.
  • Go directly to a legitimate charity’s website.

If you have been affected by a disaster, beware of scammers posing as home improvement specialists and:

  • Ask for ID and licenses.
  • Do not pay in cash, wire transfer, or gift card.
  • Guard your personal information.
  • Be skeptical of anyone who claims fast results.
  • Request any plans be put in writing.

The government does not charge for disaster relief applications, so do not pay anyone who asks for fees to complete them.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has more information.

  • Go to for a video and tips.
  • Visit and search for tornado or disaster.

Picking Up the Pieces After a Disaster