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Be wary of Hurricane Ian scams | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp

An expert on insurance fraud is warning Florida residents whose properties were damaged by Hurricane Ian to be careful of scams, especially from construction workers who may ask homeowners to sign over insurance benefits for a quick fix.

Gina Clausen Lozier, an insurance attorney for 15 years who specializes in fraud issues, told USA TODAY that homeowners should first work with their insurance companies in filing damage claims.

“There will be a lot of frivolous people converging in the area,” she said in a phone interview. “If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.”

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At least 13 people were reported dead in counties across the state, a number that’s expected to rise drastically. Sheriffs in southwest Florida said 911 centers were inundated by thousands of stranded callers, some with life-threatening emergencies. More than 2.6 million Florida homes and businesses were without power Thursday. 

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Clausen Lozier, who said she’s also a member of the Florida Property and Casualty Insurance Fraud Task Force, said lawmakers the past few years have passed new laws to crack down on down on unscrupulous, out-of-state construction workers who previously converged upon Florida following natural disasters.

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Spotting insurance fraud

Clausen Lozier said common scams include:

►Construction firms persuading homeowners to “sign assignment of benefits” in exchange for immediate repairs.

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