CLOVIS, N.M. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New Mexico Office of Emergency Management have a system in place to identify potential fraud issues by individuals who try to cash in on others’ misfortune during the disaster recovery process.
“We must be good stewards when implementing disaster assistance programs. This means balancing rapid services for those in need and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are not misused," Deputy State Coordinating Officer Jeff Phillips said.
According to FEMA’s Justin Dombrowski, federal coordinating officer, “people who have made a mistake when reporting damage or have misrepresented their losses have the opportunity to cancel or amend their claim.”
Individuals may call the toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) – TTY 1-800-462-7585, to withdraw or correct an application and prevent prosecution.
A number of methods are used to detect fraud. An automated system crosschecks information with other agencies and applicants are asked about insurance coverage to prevent duplication of benefits. Field inspections are conducted to verify losses and damages for every person who applies. Potential cases of fraud or misuse are referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution.
People who have made a mistake when reporting damage or misrepresented their losses have the opportunity to cancel or amend their claim. Individuals may call the toll-free application number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) – TTY 1-800-462-7585, to withdraw or correct an application and prevent prosecution.
If you know of someone who is taking advantage of others’ misfortune by filing false damage claims, please report this or other instances of fraud to the Fraud Hotline at 1-800-323-8603.
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.