Napa County District Attorney warns of FEMA scams in wake of fires – Napa Valley Register

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Napa County District Attorney Allison Haley warned Napa County residents of a scam involving fraudulently filed applications for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance in the wake of the Hennessey and Glass Fires.

The District Attorney’s Office received several reports from residents whose personal identifying information, including their Social Security numbers, was used to file fraudulent FEMA applications.

If you are contacted regarding a FEMA application that you did not submit, or if you attempt to file an application for assistance, but find that someone has already filed an application in your name, please immediately call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.

Please note that due to COVID-19, FEMA is not sending inspectors for in-person home inspections. Home inspections will be conducted by telephone. FEMA inspectors will never ask for your nine-digit application registration number, they already have it in their records. FEMA inspectors never require banking or other personal information such as a Social Security number. Do not trust someone who asks for money. Federal and local disaster workers do not solicit or accept money.

FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration staff never charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections, or help in filling out applications.

If you have been a victim of a FEMA-related scam, you may also be a victim of identity theft. You should take the following steps: report the crime to the police and ask the police to issue a police report of identity theft; call any one of the three major credit bureaus to report a fraud alert (alerting one credit bureau alerts all three) — Equifax at 800-525-6285, Experian at 888-397-3742, or TransUnion at 800-680-7289; carefully review your credit reports for accounts you do not recognize or inquiries you did not authorize; and consider a credit monitoring service or a credit freeze for protection against new accounts being opened in your name.

You can find more information on what to do if you suspect you are a victim of identity theft on the California Attorney General’s website at https://oag.ca.gov/idtheft/facts/victim-checklist

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Author: The Covid-19 Channel