FEMA issues fraud and scam warning to flood victims - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

FEMA issues fraud and scam warning to flood victims

FEMA shares tips with victims on how to guard against fraud (source: FOX 8) FEMA shares tips with victims on how to guard against fraud (source: FOX 8)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) -

State and federal recovery officials urge Louisiana residents affected by the March flooding events throughout the state to watch for and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud.

As government agencies and charitable groups began providing disaster assistance, scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals may attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors. The most common post-disaster fraud practices include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (Louisiana) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency advise all residents that no individual with a government disaster assistance agency will call or text asking for financial account information.

Survivors also should keep in mind that federal and state workers never ask for or accept money and always carry identification badges. There is no fee required to apply for or to get disaster assistance from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration or the state.

Scam attempts can be made over the phone, by mail or email, text or in person. Unfortunately, there seems to be no limit to the inventiveness of those wanting to commit fraud. Louisiana residents are asked to remain alert, ask questions and require photo identification when someone claims to represent a government agency.

Those who question the validity of a contact or suspect fraud are encouraged to call the toll free FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Complaints also may be made by contacting local law enforcement agencies.

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