Warnings from Attorney General on Avoiding Tornado Aftermath Scams

  • 06 March, 2020

A recent press release from the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office warned residents about potential scams following Tuesday morning’s horrific tornadoes which claimed the lives of at least 25 people in Middle Tennessee. Officials of Attorney General Herb Slatery’s office stated they want to ensure that only legitimate businesses and charities work alongside volunteers to clear debris, repair, and rebuild.

Slatery stated, “These storms have devastated the lives and hopes of many. Our communities will step up and help. In fact, they are already doing so. Unfortunately, these events also attract opportunists who may appear willing to help but really just want to take advantage of the situation and make some quick money without delivering any products or services.”

The following tips were outlined by the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office:

  • Don’t fall for high pressure sales tactics. Urgency is a red flag.
  • Remain wary of unknown, out of state phone numbers.
  • Verify proper licensing before hiring a contractor at verify.tn.gov.

The press release also touched on charity fraud and scams stating, “Charity fraud is another common scam that pops up in response to natural disasters. Scammers may solicit donations for tornado victims but pocket the money instead. Charity scams commonly come in the form of a phone call but can also include email, websites or social media, and text messaging.”

The Attorney General’s office included signs of a charity scam:

  • A copy-cat name that sounds like a reputable charity. Some scammers use names that closely resemble those of respected, legitimate organizations.
  • Asking for cash only donations. Make checks payable to the charitable organization and not to an individual collecting a donation.
  • The caller refusing to disclose the organization’s mission, or how the money will be used. – Lack of proof your contribution is tax deductible.

Before making any contributions, make sure the website actually belongs to the charity you are donating to. Slatery’s office noted, “Make sure that the website is secure, such as a web address that begins with https:// and that it offers protection of your credit card number. Before donating, confirm you are dealing with a reputable charity through the Tennessee Division of Charitable Solicitations: sos.tn.gov/charitable/.”

There is a full list of consumer disaster recovery tips located at the following link:


As always, First Volunteer Bank is here to help with any needs you may have during this difficult time. Please direct any questions regarding the validity of a scam to our Fraud/BSA Departments.


Call our Customer Care Center toll-free at 866.668.4700

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