Feds already finding cases of fraud
Fraudsters aren’t wasting any time when it comes to trying to scam money out of victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, according to Justice Department officials.
The National Center for Disaster Fraud has already fielded 400 complaints of disaster-related fraud following the deadly natural disasters that ravaged Texas and Florida, said Corey R. Amundson, the center’s acting executive director.
“If Katrina is a guide, we should expect to be fighting this for a decade after,” said Mr. Amundson, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana.
Since the disaster fraud center was founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it received more than 70,000 fraud complaints.
Many of the complaints in the wake of Harvey and Irma involve attempts to defraud the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Amundson said.
But already the center is also receiving reports of people impersonating FEMA employees and telling victims they must turn over money or personal information in order to get federal aid.