HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Always ask for identification if someone approaches you about your personal or business disaster losses, advises the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). If the person claims to be with a government agency they will have an official ID. It's very important not to give out personal or business information unless you are presented with an ID. If you have any questions, ask if you can call the person's office for verification.
"It is a double tragedy to become a victim of fraud after suffering the effects of a disaster. But disaster survivors become prime targets for fraud, identity theft and other crimes linked to the event," said Federal Coordinating Officer Thomas J. McCool.
Here's what to expect from authorized officials:
- All FEMA and PEMA representatives will be wearing an official picture ID in plain sight on their person. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) follows the same practice.
- Insurance adjusters should be able to provide identification upon request. Inspectors and adjusters will call to arrange an appointment before visiting a disaster victim or their property.
- Local building inspectors who ensure compliance with building codes should also have a picture ID.
FEMA, PEMA, SBA or other officials will not ask for your personal or financial information.
For more information, contact the FEMA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-323-8603.
Follow FEMA online atblog.fema.gov, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only.FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.