BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisiana residents are being urged to look out for several common FEMA-related scams.
A few scams circulating areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ida include people posing as FEMA representatives or contractors, asking residents for their personal information.
To avoid falling victim to a scam, FEMA advises the following:
- Be on alert if somebody asks for your nine-digit registration number. FEMA inspectors will never ask for this information. They already have it in their records.
- Housing inspectors never charge a fee to inspect your property.
- FEMA does not hire or endorse specific contractors to fix homes or recommend repairs. A FEMA housing inspector’s job is to verify damage.
- When in doubt, report any suspicious behavior to your local authorities.
- Federal and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money. Don’t trust anyone who offers financial help and then asks for money or personal information.
- Blue Roof representatives never solicit your participation, nor will they ask for Social Security, bank account numbers or any compensation for this service. You must apply for the Blue Roof program and complete a Right of Entry form.
- Ask to see ID badges. All FEMA representatives carry an identification badge with a photograph. A FEMA shirt or jacket is not proof of identity.
- Do not disclose information to any unsolicited telephone calls and e-mails from individuals claiming to be FEMA or federal employees. FEMA will not contact you unless you have called FEMA first or applied for assistance.
Scams can be reported by contacting FEMA’s toll-free Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Reports can also be made by contacting the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Section, P.O. Box 94005, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9005, 225-326-6499 (fax), or visiting https://arlspublic.lslbc.louisiana.gov/Home/Index.