BOSTON - As New England works to recover from the powerful ice storm that left millions without power, neighbors are coming together to help each other and all levels of government along with the private sector are working together to restore a sense of normalcy. Unfortunately there is also a small group out there seeking to take advantage of those affected by the storm.
There have been reports of scammers posing as officials from utilities or as government officials. These scammers ask for a payment in order to get power restored or speed along the delivery of assistance. Legitimate officials will never request such payments.
There are several steps that individuals can take to avoid being victimized by such scam artists:
- Request identification from anyone that visits your home. Actual officials will be able to provide their name and identification.
- Do not provide credit card or banking information to anyone who comes to your home unannounced.
- If you have a concern about a person claiming to be a contractor, contact your state Attorney General's office.
If state or federal disaster assistance is made available to individuals in the areas affected by the ice storm, that announcement will be heavily publicized by state and local officials and the news media. There will also be full explanation of the process to apply for assistance and what types of aid will be available.
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.