DENVER – Community members who were affected by the Marshall Fire should be aware that con artists and criminals may try to obtain money or steal personal information through fraud or identity theft after disaster. In some cases, thieves try to apply for FEMA assistance using names, addresses and Social Security numbers they have stolen from survivors.
If a FEMA housing inspector contacts you or comes to your property and you did not submit a FEMA application, your information may have been used without your knowledge to create a FEMA application. If this is the case, please inform the inspector that you did not apply for FEMA assistance so they can submit a request to stop further processing of the application.
If you did not apply for assistance, but receive a letter from FEMA, please call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. The helpline will submit a request to stop any further processing of that application.
If you do wish to apply for FEMA assistance after stopping an application made in your name without your knowledge, the FEMA Helpline will assist you in creating a new application.
FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams, housing inspectors, and other officials are working in areas impacted by the Marshall Fire. They carry official identification badges with photo IDs. FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration representatives never charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections, or help in filling out applications.
Don’t believe anyone who promises a disaster grant in return for payment.
Be alert when receiving unexpected phone calls or visits to your property from people claiming to be FEMA housing inspectors or people claiming they work for FEMA. FEMA representatives will have a photo-ID badge and your FEMA application number, and you should ask them to provide these.
Don’t give your banking information to a person claiming to be a FEMA housing inspector. FEMA inspectors are never authorized to collect your personal financial information.
If you believe you are the victim of a scam, report it immediately to local law enforcement or contact the Colorado Division of Insurance Consumer Services Team at (303) 804-7490 / (800) 930-3745, To file a fraud complaint, go online to DORA.Insurance@state.co.us.
If you suspect fraudulent activity involving FEMA, you can report it to the FEMA Fraud Branch at StopFEMAFraud@fema.dhs.gov, by fax: (202) 212-4926, or write to: FEMA Fraud and Internal Investigation Division, 400 C Street SW Mail Stop 3005, Washington, DC 20472-3005.
If you suspect identity theft, please visit Identity Theft | FTC Consumer Information or IdentityTheft.gov.