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FEMA Deploys Personnel in Communities Impacted by Sandy

Your best strategy to protect yourself against fraud is to ask to see identification in all cases and to safeguard your personal financial information, according to officials.

From the Yorktown Police Department: 

FEMA has deployed Community Relations Team personnel in to communities impacted by the Hurricane Sandy. These are FEMA employees who provide information to residents and businesses about how to register for assistance. They will meet directly with individuals in our community and distribute flyers.

They do not collect information or complete applications for assistance on behalf of anyone. They are dressed in FEMA apparel and display FEMA I.D. 

Check out this flyer link, which has two sample Disaster Housing Inspector ID cards. FEMA Disaster Contractor Housing Inspectors follow-up with individuals who register for FEMA assistance due to property damage.  

The following information has also been provided by FEMA:     

Many legitimate persons -- insurance agents, FEMA Community Relations personnel, local inspectors and real contractors -- may have to visit your storm-damaged property. Survivors could, however, encounter people posing as inspectors, government officials or contractors in a bid to obtain personal information or collect payment for repair work. Your best strategy to protect yourself against fraud is to ask to see identification in all cases and to safeguard your personal financial information. Please keep in mind that local, state and federal employees DO NOT solicit or accept money for public services."

All FEMA employees and contractors will have a laminated photo ID. A FEMA shirt or jacket alone is not proof of identity. FEMA generally will only request an applicant's Social Security or bank account numbers during the initial registration process. Disaster victims may register by visiting the Disaster Recovery Center, by calling 1-800-621-3362, or by visiting http://www.fema.gov/apply-assistance

However FEMA inspectors may require verification of identity. FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) staff never charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections or help to fill out applications. FEMA inspectors verify damages but do not recommend or hire specific contractors to fix homes.

The following websites also provide resources on Hurricane Sandy related scams and consumer protection information. 

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