FEMA warns Hurricane Laura survivors to remain on alert for disaster fraud, scams
BATON ROUGE — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a warning to the public Monday, advising Louisiana's residents to be on guard against scammers seeking to take advantage of hurricane survivors.
FEMA said that after a disaster it's not uncommon for the unscrupulous to pose as official disaster aid workers trying to help survivors complete their applications in an attempt to steal their money.
FEMA went on to explain that scam attempts can be made over the phone, by mail or email, text or in person. Survivors of Hurricane Laura should be aware of fraud and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud from scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals.
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 federal disaster assistance.
During each disaster it’s important to stay tuned to local media and trusted local and federal social media for current updates about ongoing recovery efforts.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, check with FEMA or local law enforcement to ensure your identity is protected.
Those who question the validity of a contract or suspect fraud are encouraged to call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Complaints also may be made by contacting local law enforcement.
FEMA recommends you monitor your credit report for account 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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