04 Sep Disaster Preparedness Month: Learn how to avoid potential scams!
Members of the public are reminded to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before trusting anyone purporting to be working on behalf of disaster victims and before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations on behalf of disaster victims, as well as being extremely cautious before providing personal identifying or financial information to anyone, especially those who may contact you after a natural disaster.
The National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), a national coordinating agency within the Department’s Criminal Division, operates a call center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and serves as a centralized clearinghouse for disaster fraud complaints and information relating to both natural and man-made disasters.
Examples of illegal activity being reported to the NCDF and law enforcement include:
- Impersonation of federal law enforcement officials;
- Identity theft;
- Fraudulent submission of claims to insurance companies and the federal government;
- Fraudulent activity related to solicitations for donations and charitable giving;
- Fraudulent activity related to individuals and organizations promising high investment returns from profits from recovery and cleanup efforts;
- Price gouging;
- Contractor fraud;
- Debris removal fraud; and
- Theft, looting, and other violent crime
Report fraud to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or firstname.lastname@example.org