Home » Areawide »Local News » Currently Reading:

FEMA warning for victims of Hurricane Sandy, avoid fraud and verify IDs

January 18, 2013 Areawide, Local News No Comments
Fairfield Beach, CT, Dec. 1, 2012 - Returning neighbors found only this concrete foundation, nothing whatsoever remained of the house that had been there. This was one of six homes washed out to sea in Fairfield Beach. FEMA is in the area working to identify and assist those displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Marilee Caliendo/FEMA

Fairfield Beach, CT, Dec. 1, 2012 – Returning neighbors found only this concrete foundation, nothing whatsoever remained of the house that had been there. This was one of six homes washed out to sea in Fairfield Beach. FEMA is in the area working to identify and assist those displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Marilee Caliendo/FEMA

For those of us in Connecticut who weren’t seriously affected by Hurricane Sandy, it’s important to remember that there are hundreds of residents who are still trying to piece their lives back together.

And the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warns that there may be con artists trying to get their hands on your disaster assistance money and/or personal financial information.

“After a disaster, crooks may pretend to be employed by FEMA or the U.S. Small Business Administration. They may try to obtain personal information such as Social Security and bank account numbers or they may promise to increase your disaster assistance grant for a fee, something a federal employee would never do,” FEMA says in statement released today (Jan. 16, 2013).

FEMA offers these consumer safety tips:

  • There is never a fee to apply for FEMA assistance or to receive it;
  • There are no fees for FEMA or SBA property damage inspections; and
  • Government workers never ask for payment to perform their duties.

Asking to see identification is a disaster survivor’s best defense against such criminals and scam artists. All authorized federal personnel are required to wear photo IDs at all times.

A FEMA or SBA shirt or jacket is not proof of affiliation with these agencies.

All government- or contractor-issued ID badges should be produced by the bearer without hesitation or reluctance.

Also, a FEMA contract inspector who comes to your home will be able to provide your FEMA registration number.

If private insurance adjusters and local building code inspectors visit your property, they should also be able to provide identification on demand.

Anyone suspecting fraud should call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Complaints may also be made to local authorities or the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection at www.ct.gov/dcp or by calling 800-842-2649 (in the Hartford area, call 860-713-6110).

Contractor fraud can also be a problem after a disaster. Remember these tips before signing a home repair contract:

  • Get three written estimates; then check each contractor’s credentials and references. Contact the Better Business Bureau or local chamber of commerce to see if there are outstanding complaints against the contractor;
  • Obtain a written contract detailing all work to be performed, costs, a projected completion date, and procedures to negotiate changes and settle disputes;
  • Any guarantees should be in writing.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.

If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362. For TTY, call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and covers the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Posted January 18, 2013

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News. https://www.facebook.com/HTNPnews and find us on our NEW Twitter page at HTNP News (@HTNPNews )

Comment on this Article:







Sponsors



Archives

Business

Local day camps made a great summer for cancer patients families

CHILDREN RUNNING from Windham Hosp FB page

Working with the hospital’s Cancer Navigation Program, Holiday Hill Day Camp in Mansfield, CT and the Channel 3 Kids Camp in Andover, CT provided full admission to the children – and by doing so, also gave some rest to the adults who are experiencing the physical and emotional stress caused by a cancer diagnosis.

Are you ready for the state’s new insurance program?

ACCESS HEALTH CT insurance exchange Jason Madrak - thumbnail

You may have noticed an increase in TV ads urging you to sign up for a company’s insurance plan. You may want to know that unless you are enrolled through Access Health CT, you will NOT be entitled to subsidies (in some cases, 100 percent subsidies).

Gov. Malloy defends new campaign finance law

GOV MALLOY official head shot resized 2011

“The bill I’m signing today requires a level of disclosure that few if any other states require. No bill is perfect. But this bill makes Connecticut a national leader in requiring disclosure and transparency.” – Gov. Malloy

October  2014
   
  1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31