Townsquare Media

A majority of New Jersey residents who have registered and received assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the wake of Superstorm Sandy have genuine needs. Unfortunately, the rush to get millions of dollars to those affected also brings out the dishonest people looking to defraud victims.  Fraud increases the cost of recovery and puts money in the hands of the wrong people.If you suspect anyone of fraud, the Inspector General for the Federal Emergency Management Agency will investigate complaints of fraud, waste or abuse involving FEMA contracts, programs or personnel.  All you have to do is call FEMA's toll-free Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.

The following are examples of complaints that are typically filed with the FEMA Office of the Inspector General:

• Applicants used false names and multiple and/or fictitious addresses

• Applicants claimed losses they didn’t sustain or to which they were not entitled

• Applicants did not use FEMA money for the intended purposes

• Municipal officials used FEMA money for their own benefit

• FEMA checks were stolen

• Applicants received duplicate payments from FEMA and their insurance companies

Complaints can also be filed by writing to the National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.  You can also visit www.oig.dhs.gov/.