FEMA workers being mistaken for scammers

FEMA workers being mistaken for scammers

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - FEMA said many of their people working in the field to register flood survivors are being mistaken for scammers.

Scammers have been targeting flood victims for their personal information, including Social Security and bank account numbers. Officials said that FEMA inspectors only require verification of flood survivors' identities, and the only time people should provide personal information is when they contact FEMA to either initially apply or follow up on their application.

They added that legitimate employees will never ask for money or credit card information.

"It's easy to impersonate these folks. They will always have a badge with a photo ID. They will also possibly be wearing FEMA gear, but if it doesn't feel right, that's okay. You don't have to do it," said FEMA spokesperson Darrell Habisch.

Anyone who feels uncomfortable can always call FEMA directly at 800-621-3362 or visit a disaster recovery center. Officials also advise people to report any suspicions of fraud to the Louisiana Attorney's General Consumer Protection hotline at 800-351-4889.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 6, officials reported that 57,528 people had registered with FEMA in East Baton Rouge Parish. Livingston Parish had 27,946 registered with the agency followed by Ascension Parish with 11,156 and Tangipahoa with 8,654.

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