FEMA/SERVPRO Visit Scam: How It Works
Criminals pose themselves as representatives of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), having nothing to do with the real organization – so beware! They are knocking door-to-door and give residents SERVPRO cards while asking for money.
Be very careful as it could happen to you as well. What can you do about it?
Watch the video below to see how to avoid FEMA inspector scams:
How To Avoid FEMA Inspector Scam Video
FEMA/SERVPRO Visit Scam: How To Avoid
If you haven't watched the video above, SERVPRO employees drive green vehicles that are marked with the company's name. The employees also have identification and business cards. They will not represent themselves as being from FEMA.
Ask for an address, phone number, email or website and contact the organization directly to verify the person's name and contact information they provided. If you suspect foul play contact the police immediately.
According to FEMA's website, here are some tips to remember to safeguard against the scam:
Ask to see ID badges. All Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives always carry an identification badge with a photograph. A FEMA shirt or jacket is not proof of identity. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with anyone you encounter, contact local law enforcement.
Keep your FEMA registration number safe. It is your key to your application information. Do not share it with others.
Safeguard personal information. No state or federal government disaster assistance agency will call you to ask for your financial account information. Unless you place a call to an agency yourself, you should not provide personal information over the phone. It can lead to identity theft. In general, be cautious when giving personal information such as social security or bank account numbers to anyone. FEMA will only request an applicant's bank account numbers during the initial registration process. FEMA inspectors will require verification of identity but will already have your registration number.
Beware of people going door to door. People knocking on doors at damaged homes or phoning homeowners claiming to be building contractors could be con artists, especially if they ask for personal information or solicit money.
Know that federal workers do not solicit or accept money. FEMA and Small Business Administration staff never charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections, or to help fill out applications. FEMA inspectors verify damages, but do not involve themselves in any aspect of the repair nor recommend any contractor.
FEMA/SERPRO Visit Scam: How To Report
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How To Protect Yourself More:
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