7 On Your Side: Scammers prey on Valley Fire victims

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Every disaster attracts scammers, so 7 On Your Side finds out what you should look out for during the Valley Fire. (KGO-TV)

Natural disasters like the Valley Fire bring so much tragedy and compounding the agony are scammers who try to take advantage of fire victims. 7 On Your Side finds out what you should watch out for.

The bad guys are really working this fire, but it appears that we are on to them or at least have been up to this point.

The Valley Fire is taking its toll on so many families. Evacuees are leaving their homes in a rush with fire in the review mirrors and setting up temporary quarters; it is not easy. And now there is insult to injury added with scammers targeting evacuees.

A tweet from the Napa County Sheriff's office warns consumers to be aware of scams asking for their address.

"The most alarming scam associated with the fires are people who are posing as a news crew covering the fire, that are instead trying to get physical addresses of people who have evacuated and then rob their homes," Joe Ridout from Consumer Action said.

Ridout keeps track of these kinds of things and is reminding the rest of us that following a disaster conmen target both victims and those who want to help.

"Try not to respond to email solicitations or solicitations through social media. Sometimes that can be misdirected to a place that you don't intend to give," Ridout said.

So far the bad guys seem to be striking out. Lake County Sheriff's spokesperson Lt. S. Brooks told 7 On Your Side, "I have not received any information concerning fire victims being scammed at this time."

The Sonoma County Sheriff's office also says they know of no one being taken in by con artists, but keep in mind these guys aren't going to stop, so pass the word and be careful.
Related Topics:
firecal firebrush firewildfirefire escape7 On Your Sidescamscamsdisasterstate of emergencyValley Firemoneytheftrobberyburglaryhomehome invasionCalistogaKelseyvilleMiddletownCobb
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