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Look Out for Disaster Fraud, Scams

Storm Recovery

BATON ROUGE, La. — When natural disasters occur, it is common for some people to try to take advantage of survivors by posing as official disaster aid workers trying to help survivors complete their applications.

Scam attempts can be made over the phone, by mail or email, text or in person. Louisiana survivors of Hurricane Laura should be aware of fraud and scams 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 disasters with tips on disaster fraud.

If something makes you feel uncomfortable, check with FEMA or local law enforcement to ensure your identity is protected.

Those who question the validity of a contact or suspect fraud are encouraged to call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Complaints also may be made by contacting local law enforcement.

FEMA also recommends you monitor your credit report for any accounts or 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.

For the latest information on Hurricane Laura, visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4559.