California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Watch Out for Scams Following California Wildfires

As many readers know, con artists and scammers follow natural disasters with phony non-profits and fraudulent solicitations to help disaster victims.

Chuck Hughes, chief deputy district attorney for the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, is warning the public that his office has received a number of fraud reports connected to the Thomas Fire. The complaints have to do with price gouging within the disaster zone, fake GoFundMe accounts soliciting donations for fire victims, phony repair companies offering to do cleanup work, unlicensed contractors, and other con games.

The Camarillo Acorn has published the following information for members of the public who wish to help:

On Dec. 15, officials at United Way of Santa Barbara County and United Way of Ventura County announced the creation of a joint fund to directly help individuals and families affected by the fire in both counties. Donating to the fund is the best way to help victims, said Eric Harrison, CEO of United Way of Ventura County.

“The United Way Thomas Fire Fund is the only fund that’s officially recognized by the (Ventura County) Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services and the Red Cross,” Harrison said.

As of Dec. 18, the fund had raised $2.25 million, all of which will go to fire victims, officials said in a news release.

To be sure money gets to fire victims, people can make donations at and, or by phone at (805) 485-6288.

Checks can be mailed to United Way of Ventura County, 702 County Square Drive, Ste. 100, Ventura, CA, 93003. Write “Thomas Fire Fund” in the memo line.

© Copyright 2007-2018 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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