Disaster Victims Urged To Beware Of Fraud

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Release date: 
June 17, 2004
Release Number: 

KANSAS CITY, Mont.-- Every disaster has its share of con artists trying to take advantage of disaster victims, so be careful of whom you let into your home. If your house was damaged in the recent severe weather and someone appears at your door claiming to be a federal or state official, ask for identification.

Depending on your needs, inspectors from one or more agencies may visit your home after you have registered for disaster assistance. These inspectors will be able to show you an official ID to prove their identity. Never let anyone inspect your home without first seeing identification.

To verify the identity of someone claiming to be an inspector, call the FEMA toll-free number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Anyone with a hearing or speech impairment may call TTY: 1-800-462-7585. Both lines are open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CDT until further notice.

Some people may show up at your door and insist that you make expensive or unnecessary repairs. Others may offer to process your disaster application for a fee. Remember, disaster inspectors do not recommend repairs and NEVER charge a fee for any inspection of your home.

If you hear of or suspect any fraudulent practice regarding disaster relief, please call the FEMA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-323-8603.

On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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