Beware of Disaster Fraud

Release Date Release Number
Release Date:
December 6, 2023

CHICAGO – After disasters, fraudulent activity typically increases, and con artists may try to get money from you or ask for your personal information to try and steal your identity. If your home or personal property was damaged in the September 17 – 18 storms and flooding, be careful when giving out your personal information.

Remember, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and other federal and state disaster workers will never ask for money and never require payment in any form.

Fraudulent Applications

If a FEMA inspector comes to your home and you did not submit a FEMA application, your information may have been used without your knowledge to create a FEMA application. If this happens, 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, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. If you use video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service. The Helpline will submit a request to stop any further processing of that application.

Other Disaster-Related Scams

FEMA crews, housing inspectors and other officials will be working in areas affected by the September 17 - 18 storms and flooding. Always ask to see I.D. FEMA personnel always have an official identification badge.

Be careful of unexpected phone calls or visits to your home from people claiming they work for FEMA. If unsure whether a visit or call is legitimate, contact the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to verify. 

Take Action

If you believe you are the victim of a scam, report it immediately to your local police or sheriff’s department. 

If you have knowledge of fraud or scams involving FEMA’s disaster relief operations, report it to FEMA:

  • Email:
  • Phone: 866-223-0814
  • Mail: 400 C Street SW, Suite &SW-1009, Mail Stop 3005, Washington, DC 20472-3005.

To report and get help recovering from identity theft, visit

For even more information about the disaster recovery operation in Illinois, visit    


 Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency, or economic status. Reasonable accommodations, including translation and American Sign Language interpreters via Video Relay Service will be available to ensure effective communication with applicants with limited English proficiency, disabilities, and access and functional needs. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362. If you use video relay service, captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA your number for that service.

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