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Here's A Running List Of Hoaxes And Scams About Hurricane Florence

Old hoaxes are coming back to target the storm.

Posted on September 13, 2018, at 11:56 a.m. ET

Handout / Getty Images

Hurricane Florence has been called a life-threatening storm as both North and South Carolina are under evacuation orders. Here are the latest updates.

Just like last year with Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, propagators of online hoaxes are using the important news event to spread misinformation. BuzzFeed News is keeping track of the fakes.

I'm keeping track of Hurricane #Florence hoaxes, rumors, and other garbage in the thread below 👇 See something? DM me or email

1. Don't believe any news about sharks. 🚫🦈


Whether it's a fake picture of a shark swimming in the street or a mall, or being sucked up into a hurricane, sharks are the most common hoaxes that come up during hurricanes. They've been around since at least 2011.

2. Those insured by USAA are NOT automatically eligible for gas, food, and hotel reimbursement. Check your policy before counting on this cash.


This bad advice has been circulating since before the hurricane made landfall. On its website, USAA said that the emergency coverage is dependent on the type of policy a person has and is not guaranteed.

3. Hotels are not required to accommodate your pets in case of emergency. Tips for pet evacuation can be found at (Service animals, however, are always allowed in shelters and other spaces.)

4. Patriots aren't volunteering to guard areas against looters. This website routinely spreads hoaxes.


Websites that spread hoaxes to bring in an audience are going to try to capitalize on the hurricane. The best way to counter this is to not share their stories.

5. Last year, the #LootCrew hashtag was used to spread racist hoaxes about looters. It's already back for Hurricane Florence.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.