John J. Hoffman, acting Attorney General, warned Sandy recovery program participants to be cautious when contacted by home visit, email, or phone from individuals purporting to represent the programs – especially if those individuals ask for money transfers or personal financial data.
The state Department of Community Affairs has received several reports from Sandy recovery program participants who said they were visited at their homes by individuals claiming to be representatives of the recovery programs, and who requested access to their homes.
"Our Statewide Sandy Fraud Working Group is pursuing aggressive criminal and civil actions against those who allegedly sought illegal profits in the wake of this national disaster," Hoffman said in a statement. "But the best protection against fraud is the vigilance and awareness of our citizens. Never give money or personal information to someone who claims to represent the State’s Sandy recovery programs. If someone seeks to access your home for an inspection, do not let them in without first verifying their legitimacy."
In addition to the home visits, some program participants reported receiving phone calls or emails, also from individuals who claimed to be program representatives and who asked for money transfers or personal financial information.
State officials say legitimate representatives of the state’s Sandy recovery programs may need to access the homes of program participants. However, any legitimate program representative who conducts home inspections will have proper photo ID. Participants should therefore demand that the person show his or her photo ID.
Program participants who have any doubts or questions about someone who claims to represent the Sandy recovery programs should call the following hotlines:
- If your program manager is CBI-Shaw, call 855-287-7736 to identify the person scheduled to inspect your home.
- If your program manager is Gilbane, call 609-671-4200 to identify the person scheduled to inspect your home.
- If you do not know who your program manager is, contact your Housing Recovery Center or your Housing Advisor. If you have not yet been assigned a housing advisor or a program manager, or if you have any questions, contact the Sandy call center at 1-800-SandyHM.