NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – FEMA is warning New Mexicans to beware of scams and fraud targeting residents affected by wildfires. They say people pretending to be with FEMA, may try to steal money or personal information and in some cases apply for FEMA benefits.
FEMA is reminding people that representatives do not ask for payment or accept money for services. FEMA representatives will ask for social security and bank account numbers when you apply for aid. They urge people to be cautious when providing personal information and not to disclose information to unsolicited calls or emails.
They also say FEMA will not contact you unless you have called first or applied for assistance. People are encouraged to ask to see ID badges because all FEMA representatives carry a badge.
FEMA says scammers may also target property owners who have been affected by the wildfires. FEMA reminds people that its inspectors will never ask for your nine-digit registration number and they will never hire or endorse specific contractors.
Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious behavior. To report scams or fraud contact FEMA’s toll-free Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, The Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud, or the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General’s page.