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FEMA Urges Survivors to Guard Against Identity Theft

Release date: 
March 17, 2020
Release Number: 
FEMA-4476-DR NR 006

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – FEMA is aware of several cases of reported identity theft involving survivors of the severe storms and tornadoes in Tennessee March 3. The agency is cooperating in the investigation.

Disaster survivors who tried to register with FEMA discovered someone had already registered using their name.

After a disaster, fraud can be a problem. Scammers may contact survivors who have not registered with FEMA and try to extract money or information. When this happens, it is likely the survivor’s personal data has been compromised.

If you suspect your personal information has been compromised, call FEMA at 800-621-3362

(TTY 800-462-7585). FEMA reminds survivors:

  • If you want to verify any correspondence from FEMA or SBA, visit a Disaster Recovery Center as soon as possible to verify the letter’s authenticity. For center locations and hours, go to fema.gov/drc.
  • FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) never charge for registration, home inspections, grants, disaster-loan applications or anything else.
  • In person, ask to see a photo ID from a government agency.
  • If you suspect fraud, call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or report it your local police department.

FEMA also recommends you monitor your credit report for any accounts or changes you do not recognize. If you discover someone is using your information, you will need to take additional steps, including filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission through its website: IdentityTheft.gov.

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FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955. TTY users may also call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visit SBA at www.SBA.gov/disaster.

Last Updated: 
March 17, 2020 - 12:58