“In the aftermath of a disaster, it is common for unscrupulous people to try to take advantage of victims. People need to be aware that con artists will exploit disaster victims by preying on their fears and vulnerability.” Carlos Mitchell, a FEMA federal coordinating officer.
What to Look Out for:
Common Post-Disaster Scams
- Someone who claims to be from FEMA comes to your home or studio — or calls or emails you — and asks for your Social Security number, bank account number, FEMA registration number, or other sensitive information
- Someone claiming to be a building contractor knocks on your door and offers to make repairs, clean up debris, or speed up the insurance, disaster assistance, or building-permit process
- Someone asks for a relief fund donation for an unknown charitable organization — or the person soliciting the donation requests the check be made out to a private individual
- Fraudulent telemarketers soliciting donations or insurance-related work
- Contractors ask for large cash deposits or advance payments in full.
- You receive a promise of large amounts of money for disaster victims. FEMA/State disaster assistance funds are only sent to applicants by electronic funds transfer (EFT) or through the U.S. mail.