North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice
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Watch out for fake FEMA agents, disaster scams

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Strong storms have hit parts of North Carolina recently with more forecast for this week. Unfortunately, crooks often follow in the wake of bad weather.

According to local law enforcement, teams of thieves posing as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employees have recently approached some residents in areas hit by storms.  One talks to the homeowner, outside if possible, while the other asks to use the restroom or finds another excuse to be allowed inside. While the first thief is talking, the second is stealing valuables or confidential personal information like Social Security or bank account numbers.

In other variations of this distraction theft, crooks may pretend to be law enforcement officers, utility workers, or just someone who was passing by and began feeling ill.  Whenever someone you don’t know asks to enter your home unescorted, be suspicious.

And when disaster strikes, remember these tips to keep from being victimized if you need help with repairs or tree removal.

If you spot a scam, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at