The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is advising seniors recovering from Superstorm Sandy to be on the lookout for scam artists claiming to represent FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA) or the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
By going door to door to storm-damaged homes or making contact by phone or on the Internet, scam artists may try to obtain personal information such as Social Security and bank account numbers or falsely claim that you need to make a payment to a federal agency.
FEMA is offering residents a number of tips to ensure that they're not victims of a potential scam:
On any follow-up calls, a FEMA representative will only ask for the last four digits of the applicant’s Social Security number.
While a FEMA representative may visit your home in connection with your claim, they will not ask you to make a payment.
If someone comes to your door identifying themselves as a FEMA, SBA or NFIP representative, ask to see their federal identification badge. All authorized FEMA or SBA employees are required to display a laminated photo identification badge at all times.
If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, call the FEMA Fraud Hotline at 800-323-8603 or call the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at 800-242-5846.