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Monday, 06 May 2013 14:50

Beware of Post-Disaster Fraud

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) urge Illinois residents affected by recent severe storms and flooding to be alert for potential fraud. As federal, state and local officials conduct preliminary damage assessments throughout the state, you can protect yourself by taking the following steps:  

  • Ask for ID. If someone represents themselves as a federal or state employee, but does not produce identification, ask to see it. A FEMA, IEMA or U.S. Small Business Administration shirt or jacket is not absolute proof of someone's affiliation with the government. Federal and state employees carry official photo identification at all times.
  • Safeguard personal information. Do not give personal information such as social security and bank account numbers to individuals who visit your home claiming to be affiliated with the government. Federal, state and local assessment teams never require this information.
  • Under no circumstances are FEMA, IEMA or SBA representatives allowed to accept money. If someone claiming to be a federal or state employee attempts to collect money, report the person and their vehicle number to your local police department.

Those who suspect someone of committing fraudulent activities should call the FEMA Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Media Contact: Cassie Ringsdorf, FEMA, 312-408-4455 and Patti Thompson, IEMA, 217-836-0742