FEMA Warns Against "Processing Fee" Scam

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Release date: 
December 17, 2004
Release Number: 
1549-100

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) have been made aware of a scam targeting victims of Hurricane Ivan in Lamar County. A resident was asked by phone to send the caller, posing as a FEMA representative, a $250 check to process a $5,000 disaster assistance check from FEMA.

This person is NOT a FEMA representative. FEMA does not charge a fee for providing grant money. A FEMA representative will never contact victims by telephone asking for bank account information.
FEMA grants are awarded solely on eligibility for disaster assistance programs.

The following is the only example of when a FEMA representative will request bank account information:

  • FEMA only collects bank account information at the time a disaster victim calls the FEMA 800 number (1-800-621-3362) to register for help.
  • FEMA asks for bank account information to help facilitate disaster payments if that person is eligible to receive them.
  • Victims are not required to provide FEMA with bank account information. FEMA can, and often does, mail disaster payments.

If you suspect that someone is trying to take advantage of you, contact your local law enforcement agency or the Attorney General’s Consumer Affairs division at 1-800-392-5658.

On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the 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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