FEMA Urges Utah Quake Survivors to Guard Against Fraud and I.D. Theft

Release Date Release Number
4548-NR-003
Release Date:
July 28, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY – Often after a disaster, scam artists and identity thieves attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors.

Sometimes, those who try to register with FEMA discover that someone has already registered using their name. Scammers may contact survivors who have not registered with FEMA and try to extract money or information. In these cases, it’s likely the survivor’s personal data has been compromised.

But there are steps you can take to guard against fraud and identity theft.

Utahns impacted by the earthquakes and aftershocks that occurred between March 18 and April 17 should keep in mind that FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) never charge for registration, home inspections, grants, disaster-loan applications or anything else.

In addition, FEMA will not contact you unless you have already registered for assistance.

Due to the nationwide Covid-19 emergency, FEMA is communicating with Utah quake survivors using remote means like phone calls and texts. Because phone calls or texts from FEMA may appear to come from unidentified numbers, it’s important to verify that you are speaking to a genuine FEMA case review specialist or inspector.

The case review specialist or inspector will ask for the last four digits of your FEMA Registration ID — a nine-digit number given after completing an application — and in return provide the first four digits of the applicant’s Registration ID to complete the verification process.

Applicants are urged to keep their contact information up to date and pay attention to all communications from FEMA. If you have questions, please call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585) and speak to a FEMA specialist.

Utah residents impacted by the March 18 quake and aftershocks who have not registered with FEMA can still apply for assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Help is available in most languages.

Applicants may also be eligible for additional disaster assistance from the SBA. Find information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (916) 735-1500 or (TTY) 800-877-8339 or email FOCWAssistance@sba.gov for more information. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

If you require a reasonable accommodation or an alternative format of available information such as American Sign Language format, or audio format, please submit your request to: Region8AccommodationRequest@fema.dhs.gov.

For more information on Utah’s recovery from the Magna Quake, visit, www.fema.gov/disaster/4548, or https://earthquakes.utah.gov/magna-quake/

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Last updated March 18, 2021