California Deploys Investigators to Fire Zones

June 20, 2008

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that he has dispatched California Department of Insurance investigators to the Humboldt and Ophir Fire zones to provide assistance to fire survivors as they face the task of recovery.

“As fire survivors begin to assess their insurance situations and explore their options for rebuilding, I urge them to be on the lookout for scam artists who prey upon disaster survivors,” Poizner said. “I have deployed my Department of Insurance investigators to the fire zones to be on the lookout for criminals, but if fire survivors suspect any sort of fraudulent behavior, they should not hesitate to call my Department at 1-800-927-HELP.”

CDI fraud investigators will be conducting outreach throughout the region, advising fire survivors on how to avoid scam artists who routinely target disaster zones. Since the Humboldt and Ophir Fires broke out, CDI investigators and staff have worked collaboratively with CAL FIRE and the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, in addition to other local and state entities, to offer aid to fire survivors.

The most common fraud that occurs in the aftermath of a disaster generally involves price gouging, offers of debris removal, and fraudulent charitable solicitations, CDI said. It is important that fire survivors keep a diligent lookout for predators playing on the emotions of those stricken by disaster. If fraudulent activity is suspected, please contact the CDI at 800-927-HELP.

The DOI also has tips on its Web site for loss survivors and how to hire a contractor. Visit for information.

Source: CDI

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