FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Hurricane Ian has continued to work its way up the east coast, and while it won’t reach Indiana, its long reach may affect those in northeastern Indiana in other ways.

First, the Better Business Bureau in Fort Wayne recommends looking out for potential scams.

“As you know, when there is a catastrophic event such as Hurricane Ian that we’re experiencing, people do want to help others as much as possible,” said Jane Diaz, Vice President at Better Business Bureau in Fort Wayne. “Unfortunately, scammers are looking to take advantage of well-intentioned folks who are trying to help.”

The first thing they recommend is doing research on the company that is trying to collect money from you by looking for these red flags:

  • Do they operate in the area affected by the hurricane or have support staff there?
  • Are they asking for money through Venmo, CashApp or another third party?
  • Are they asking you to wire funds or send a gift card?
  • Are they asking to use crowdfunding instead of donating directly?

All of these are red flags according to Diaz.

She recommends doing as much research as possible on organizations before donating, and if you encounter a scam, the Better Business Bureau asks the scam to be reported using their scam tracker site.

But scams aren’t the only thing that may be a costly effect of Hurricane Ian in northeast Indiana.

“When we have hurricanes like this, we’ve obviously got a situation looking at our fuel supply,” said Rachel Blakeman, director of the Purdue Fort Wayne Community Research Institute.

Hurricanes typically impact the Gulf Coast, which is rich in oil refineries.

A single refinery shutting down due to hurricane-related damages has the chance to increase gas prices across the nation.

But whether the hurricane will impact gas prices in Indiana has yet to be seen, and Blakeman thinks that it’s still too early to call.

“We’re gonna have to see how it hits and how intense it is. It looks like it’s gaining some strength, unfortunately,” said Blakeman. ‘But in terms of the industry components, we’re gonna have to wait and see where it hits and how it affects things.”

In addition to economic effects, there is some expected rain as a result of Hurricane Ian in northeast Indiana early next week.