hurricane fraudWASHINGTON, D.C. (11/13/13) - The Department of Justice, the FBI, and the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) remind the public that there is a potential for disaster fraud in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Suspected fraudulent activity pertaining to relief efforts associated with Typhoon Haiyan should be reported to the toll-free NCDF hotline at 866-720-5721. The hotline is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the purpose of reporting suspected scams being perpetrated by criminals in the aftermath of disasters.

NCDF was originally established in 2005 by the Department of Justice to investigate, prosecute and deter fraud associated with federal disaster relief programs following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud related to any natural or man-made disaster. More than 20 federal agencies – including the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Secret Service – participate in the NCDF, allowing the center to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information related to disaster relief fraud.

In the wake of natural disasters, many individuals feel moved to contribute to victim assistance programs and organizations across the country. The Department of Justice and the FBI remind the public to apply a critical eye and conduct due diligence before giving to anyone soliciting donations on behalf of hurricane victims. Solicitations can originate as emails, websites, door-to-door collections, mailings, telephone calls and similar methods.

Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, including the following:
• Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming emails, including by clicking links contained within those messages, because they may contain computer viruses.
• Be cautious of individuals representing themselves as victims or officials asking for donations via email or social networking sites.
• Beware of organizations with copycat names similar to but not exactly the same as those of reputable charities.
• Rather than following a purported link to a website, verify the existence and legitimacy of non-profit organizations by using Internet-based resources.
• Be cautious of emails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files, because those files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
• To ensure that contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make donations directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
• Do not be pressured into making contributions; reputable charities do not use coercive tactics.
• Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions. Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
• Avoid cash donations if possible. Pay by debit or credit card, or write a check directly to the charity. Do not make checks payable to individuals.
• Legitimate charities do not normally solicit donations via money transfer services. • Most legitimate charities maintain websites ending in .org rather than .com.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud by a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, contact the NCDF by phone at 866-720-5721, fax at 225-334-4707 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

You can also report suspicious e-mail solicitations or fraudulent websites to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Department of Justice

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14

In Other News...

OPS, Kentucky Wesleyan College to Build State-of-the- Art Track, Field Facility

OWENSBORO, Ky. (7/28/15) — Owensboro Public Schools will work collaboratively with Kentucky Wesleyan College to build a… Read More

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released - July 28, 2015

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (7/28/15) — The Madisonville Police Department released the following reports Tuesday, July 28.… Read More

Most Read This Week

July 23, 2015 14540

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 4914

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 4346

Woman Accused of Striking Juvenile with Metal Belt

by SurfKY News
July 22, 2015 4289

No. 9 Steakhouse Suffers Fire; Owners Vow to…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3574

School System Announces Free Lunch/Breakfast at…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 02, 2015 19406

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 17, 2015 15462

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 28, 2015 1487

Hanson Youth Wins Soap Box Derby World…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1162

Heavy Rains, Two Wrecks Impeded WKP Travel

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1026

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 799

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 773

Bud's Gun Shop to Re-Open Uncle Lee's

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 762

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 727

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 653

Hopkins County Traffic Advisory

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 590

Hopkins County Fair Underway

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 466

Teen Birth Rates at All Time Low

by SurfKY News