Scammer for fraudulent Hurricane Dorian relief fund poses as Denis Phillips, meteorologist says

The ABC Action News chief meteorologist, known for his hurricane rules, warned followers about the scam in a Facebook post.
Someone posing as forecaster Denis Phillips is asking people for money for a fraudulent hurricane relief fund.
Someone posing as forecaster Denis Phillips is asking people for money for a fraudulent hurricane relief fund. [ Facebook ]
Published Sept. 3, 2019|Updated Sept. 3, 2019

Click here to read this story in Spanish.

Hurricanes can bring out the best in people: welcoming evacuees into their homes, helping neighbors clean up or rebuild, volunteering to assist with relief efforts.

They also can bring out the worst: fights over water or gasoline, looting, price-gouging.

At the nexus of the two are scammers preying on people’s generosity for their own personal gain.

RELATED: High pressure: TV meteorologists try to predict an unpredictable Dorian

A particularly devious example surfaced Monday.

ABC Action News chief meteorologist Denis Phillips, whose frequent posts are a source of comfort for many during hurricane season, posted on Facebook that someone posing as him had asked people for money to fund a fraudulent Bahamas hurricane relief site.

I can't believe I have to write this, it's so disheartening. Someone has created fake posts, looking like me, and is...

Posted by Denis Phillips on Monday, September 2, 2019

In a post published around 10 p.m. Monday, Phillips warned his Facebook followers about the scam, cautioning, “DO NOT SEND THEM ANY MONEY.” He shared a link to a story about trusted sites and organizations where people can donate to help hurricane victims.

“I can’t believe I have to write this,” Phillips began. “This is so disheartening.”

Phillips is known for his hurricane rules, intended to lessen hype about approaching storms and “ease a few folks minds," he writes on his Facebook page. He is best known for his rule No. 7: “Stop freaking out ... until I tell you to. We’re fine.”

RELATED: Dorian got you thirsty for Crooked Thumb’s Denis Phillips beer? Good luck finding a can

2019 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at

PREPARE YOUR STUFF: Get your documents and your data ready for a storm

BUILD YOUR KIT: The stuff you’ll need to stay safe — and comfortable — for the storm

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can’t get ready for a storm. That’s your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

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