FEMA fraud expected to ramp up in coming months

Bay area residents already targeted by scammers

Charlotte Leary says she and her husband got lucky. The Leary’s who live in
Spring Hill never even lost power during Irma. But on September 30 FEMA called offering to put the couple up in a hotel for 8 days.

The Leary’s had never reported damage or registered with any assistance agency for help. FEMA told the couple it was Harry Leary who applied for help. The couple likely victims of identity theft.

This type of FEMA related fraud is expected to be among the most popular crimes committed in relation to Irma. The crooks steal storm victims’ identities then apply for FEMA money.

FEMA representative Bill Lehman says they are hearing reports of people posting as FEMA damage inspectors and insurance adjusters. FEMA representatives always carry picture identification.

They may ask for insurance information and to inspect the damage to your home or property but they will not ask you for any type of payment.

Anyone who encounters suspicious activity related to the storm can report to the FEMA fraud hotline at 866-223-0814 or the Attorney General hotline at 866-9-NO SCAM.

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