Disaster officials report scam attempts - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Disaster officials report scam attempts

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Authorities report one AL resident got a call from someone asking for bank information. (Source: MGN Online) Authorities report one AL resident got a call from someone asking for bank information. (Source: MGN Online)

State and federal recovery officials warn those affected by the April 28 storms to watch for and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud.

Scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals may attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors as they work to clean up and recover from the damaging storms.

The most common post-disaster fraud, according to officials, include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid.

Authorities report at least one incident where an Alabama resident received a call from a person claiming to represent the Federal Emergency Management Agency and attempting to get the person's bank account information and debit card number.

FEMA officials want to make it clear that at no time will a disaster assistance agency call or text asking for financial account information.

Federal and state workers will never ask for or accept money, and will always carry identification badges. There are no fees required to apply for or obtain disaster assistance from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration or the state.

Scam attempts can be made over the phone, by mail, email, text or in person. Those who question the validity of a contact or suspect fraud are asked to call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or your local law enforcement agency.

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