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Residents Urged To Watch For Scammers During Carr Fire Recovery

A lot of federal disaster relief funding is coming to Redding and wherever there’s a lot of money there’s sure to be a lot of crooks trying to get their hands on it. Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett says her office’s consumer protection unit has been communicating with Napa and Sonoma County officials to learn of the ways scams were perpetrated there by criminals wanting to get their hands on someone else’s money. One way is by filing a FEMA assistance application in someone else’s name, using their social security numbers and other personal identifying information. Some victims of the wine country fires said they applied to FEMA, only to be told that they had already applied. Others said FEMA inspectors came to their homes to ask questions about applications they never submitted. Shasta County residents should be aware that FEMA will not send inspectors to a home unless an application has been submitted. They also will not ask for personal identifying information or bank account information at someone’s home. That information is only collected by the application process or at an assistance center. All FEMA employees and contractors carry federally-issued photo identification badges, which can and should be seen on request. Anyone who suspects that fraud has occurred should immediately contact the office of the Inspector General at (800) 323-8603 or oig.dhs.gov.