PORT ALLEN, La. (BRPROUD) – Anyone who took a look at the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office Facebook page on Thursday was greeted with this message:
It has been brought to our attention that someone was approached at their house identifying themselves as a FEMA representative wanting to get more information about a claim they filed. This person had not filed a claim. If you are approached at your residence DO NOT!! Give out any personal information. Call local law enforcement and they will verify whether they are actual FEMA personnel. If we are notified in advance that they will be in a certain area we will post on this site. Please feel free to pass the word.
This message comes as FEMA is warning victims of Hurricane Ida to be on the lookout for scammers.
After an almost day-long investigation, the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office is providing an update along with a word of caution to residents.
What was suspected to be a scam FEMA agent, turns out to be a legit one. Yesterday, we received multiple calls from around the parish on a possible FEMA scam.
A women suspected of posing as a federal worker to steal storm victims’ personal information turned out to be a real FEMA agent. However, all resident’s should continue to be vigilant if you are concerned.
You should not provide personal information such as social security and account numbers to anyone. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
FEMA contractors should provide credentials while speaking with you. From what we understand, the FEMA agent is only asking you if the email/phone number provided on the claim is yours or not.
FEMA is going the extra step to make sure you are being taken care of correctly, and that no one is making false claims on your behave.
Meaning making sure it was you that made a claim and not someone else.
Please be respectful, but smart. As you should never give your personal information out.
If you have questions about whether a FEMA representative is legitimate, the government agency is giving you things to look for below:
- If you’re meeting a FEMA representative in person, ask to see their identification badge. All federal employees carry official, laminated photo IDs. FEMA shirts, hats and jackets do not make them official.
- When a FEMA inspector comes to your damaged home, he or she will require verification of your identity, but will already have your registration number. Keep your FEMA registration number safe. Do not share it with others.
- No federal government disaster assistance agency will call you to ask for your financial account information. If you’re unsure whether someone claiming to be a FEMA representative is legitimate, say you are hanging up and call the main FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 to speak about the incident.