Beware of Scams Following Hurricane Matthew

October 14, 2016

Unfortunately, scams commonly arise in the wake of natural disasters to exploit the situation. Below are details regarding several scams currently targeting South Carolina residents.

Phishing Emails:

Phishing emails disguised as updates from local utility companies have been reported. The emails ask the recipient to click a link for updates concerning power outages. Doing so redirects the recipient to a phishing or malware-infected website. Officials are urging residents to use caution regarding any email with a subject line, attachments or hyperlinks related to Hurricane Matthew, even if it appears to originate from a trusted source.

Price Gouging:

We've heard reports that some tree removal firms have raised their prices excessively in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Please note that under South Carolina's price gouging law, this is a crime for which offenders could face stiff fines or jail time. If you are the victim of price gouging, you can email supporting documentation to, tweet them at @SCPriceGouging or call 803-737-3953.

If you require assistance removing trees from your property, please note that PURE Members will receive priority treatment from HMI Tree Claims, an arborist firm that has been pre-vetted by our Risk Management team for quality, integrity and service. Please call them at 877-406-3232 and identify yourself as a PURE Member to take advantage of this benefit.

Storm Chasers:

Be wary of contractors who "chase storms" or come from out of town to solicit businesses door-to-door. Although not all storm chasers are scammers, they may lack the proper licensing for your area, offer quick fixes or make promises on which they can't deliver. If you need assistance locating contractors, remediation crews or other specialists to assist with repairs, a PURE Member Advocate can help.


If you would like assistance regarding any of the advice above, contact a PURE Member Advocate® at or 888.813.7873 (PURE).