Flood victims watch out: State warns of flood-related scams

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DES MOINES, Iowa– Flood damage victims in Iowa should be on alert for criminals who try to victimize them again through flood-related scams. This warning comes from Iowa’s Department of Public Safety and the Attorney General’s office, who report two scam attempts in Cedar Rapids.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department says one scam involves a caller asking evacuees to leave their doors unlocked. Another scam reportedly involves asking for credit card information to reserve a “free” hotel room for flood victims.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan warns that both scenarios are scams. Ryan says, “If you’re a flood victim, we know that you have a lot on your mind right now, but it’s important to think about protecting yourself from criminals and scammer who may try to take advantage of you.”

She adds that victims who have evacuated their residences should never leave their homes unlocked. But, besides home invasion scams, Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller warns Cedar Rapids flood victims of phone scams. Miller advises, “Don’t pay over the phone or give our personal financial information based on one call from someone you don’t know personally”… even if a caller suggests they can help get victims free items.

Anyone questioning whether or not they are subject to a scam is asked to call their local police or sheriff’s office.