The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is warning residents of a trend the agency has recently flagged, one that could be caused by an identity thief using someone else’s information to create a disaster application.
According to a press release from FEMA, the agency’s Fraud Investigations & Inspections Division has flagged the trend in Louisiana, saying some survivors “appear frustrated or confrontational when visited by a FEMA inspector because they did not apply for assistance.”
“This could be caused by someone taking a survivor’s identity and creating a fraudulent disaster application,” FEMA said.
For information on what to do if you suspect identity theft, please visit Identity Theft | FTC Consumer Information and/or IdentityTheft.gov.
Below is a breakdown of what you can expect from a FEMA inspector:
-- FEMA inspectors visit the homes of applicants that applied for certain types of FEMA assistance to assess damage caused by a declared disaster.
-- All FEMA inspectors will have an official FEMA I.D. Ask to see a FEMA inspector’s badge before providing personal information. FEMA inspectors will never ask you to give them money.
-- If a FEMA Inspector comes to your home and you did not submit a FEMA application, your information may have been used without your knowledge to create a FEMA application; if so, please inform the inspector that you did not apply for FEMA assistance so that they can submit a request to stop all further processing on the application.
-- If you did not apply for assistance, but receive a letter from FEMA, please call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621- 3362. The helpline will submit a request to stop any further processing of that application.
-- If you do wish to apply for FEMA assistance after stopping an application made in your name without your knowledge, the Helpline will need to assist you in creating a new application.
-- A fraudulent application could be a sign of identity theft. For information on what to do if you suspect identity theft, please visit Identity Theft | FTC Consumer Information or IdentityTheft.gov.