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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Tucker

Brandon Tucker Opinion: Hurricanes Target Land and Property While Fraudsters Target Homeowners

Insured property damage is projected to reach‭ ‬$9‭ ‬billion in the wake of‭ ‬Hurricane Idalia.‭ ‬An eye-popping price tag to be sure,‭ ‬but far less than‭ ‬the‭ ‬$112‭ ‬billion‭ ‬following Hurricane Ian’s‭ ‬Category‭ ‬5‭ ‬storm that hit the Gulf Coast a year ago.‭

Cleaning up your property and rebuilding your home after a destructive storm is pricey.‭ ‬But it can cost even more if you become a victim of fraud.‭ ‬And unfortunately,‭ ‬Florida and fraud go together like thunder and lightning.‭

The reason could be that almost‭ ‬100‭ ‬years ago,‭ ‬the Ponzi scheme was born right here in the Sunshine State.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1925,‭ ‬Charles Ponzi famously conned‭ ‬people into buying swampland,‭ ‬claiming they could easily‭ ‬develop‭ ‬on the coveted,‭ ‬albeit marshy,‭ ‬prime real estate.‭ ‬Unfortunately,‭ ‬almost a century later,‭ ‬Florida remains a hot spot for‭ ‬property and‭ ‬real estate fraud.‭ ‬Florida has been‭ ‬a mecca of‭ ‬moving‭ ‬scams and mortgage fraud,‭ ‬land,‭ ‬and insurance shams,‭ ‬and specifically after hurricanes,‭ ‬roofing,‭ ‬and contractor cons.‭

Like a fast-moving storm,‭ wi‬re fraud scams can inflict damage quickly and are especially popular with con artists given the fast,‭ ‬fat payouts they are netting.‭ ‬This particular scheme involves tactics such as phishing,‭ ‬hacking,‭ ‬and spoofing.‭ ‬Ne’er-‭’‬do-wells hack into your computer and preten

d to be your real estate agent.‭ ‬The hacker may email or even call you to make a deposit into a bank account for closing costs or in some cases for escrow funds.‭


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