Contact: Joe Jeanette
In connection with the severe weather and flooding in early March of this year, United States Attorney Joe Kelly urges individuals not to let disaster strike twice and to report storm related fraud 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the Justice Department’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Justice manages and tracks complaints of fraudulent activity, including sham charities and people posing as government officials or contractors who prey on storm survivors, looking to steal identities or storm benefits.
When a storm survivor makes a complaint, NCDF investigators review the complaint and, as appropriate, refer the complaint to the proper federal, state, or local agency in the relevant jurisdiction. Since the NCDF’s creation in 2005, it has received more than 95,000 complaints.
The NCDF is the result of a partnership between the U.S. Department of Justice and various law enforcement and regulatory agencies to form a national coordinating agency within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice to improve and further the detection, prevention, investigation and prosecution of fraud related to natural and man-made disasters and to advocate for the survivors of such fraud.
Additionally, federal disaster aid was approved for affected individuals, families, and other eligible applicants in approximately 27 designated counties and one tribe. The deadline for eligible homeowners, renters, and business owners to apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance has been extended to June 19, 2019, and the deadline for Public Assistance is June 20, 2019. Those who sustained losses in the designated counties can apply for assistance by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY users, call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service to call 800-621-3363.