FEMA official shares how to avoid fraudulent scammers

HOUSTON - Houstonians, beware! Scammers are out there.

A perfect example is right here with a letter a homeowner received from someone claiming to be a housing inspector and asking them to call or text them back right away so they can complete this 'important' inspection in order to receive FEMA Disaster Assistance.

So, what's wrong with that? Plenty!

For starters, the homeowner says they never even applied for FEMA assistance.

"Now, if you have not registered with FEMA, no one should be knocking on your door," FEMA media relations specialist  William C. Lindsey said.

Yep, officials say FEMA inspectors don't get involved until you've officially registered for FEMA aid.

So, how do scammers decide to show up at your door?

"They would get this information from the phone book even, and they'll see a particular area-- and they'll try to exploit it," Lindsey warned.

Officials also say shady characters will often not show any credentials or give out much information about themselves. They'll even refuse to have their photo taken!

"Now we've had incidents where people have encountered these individuals— and they've run away," Lindsey said. "So, we ask that you contact your local law enforcement immediately."

And another red flag?

"A FEMA employee will never ask for any financial compensation," Lindsey said.

Officials say scammers are after your money and personal banking information.

"During disasters, we have predators that come out of the woodwork, and they prey on those who are suffering," Lindsey said.

Bottom line: "If someone shows up on your door unannounced, it won't be a FEMA representative."

And you can take that to the bank!

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