REMINDER: REPORT DISASTER RELATED FRAUD
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding is urging
residents and business in Eastern North Carolina to be aware of and
report suspected fraudulent activity related to tornado relief
operations and federal funding for the victims.
“Relief funds are given to assist those who have suffered
tremendous loss so that they may begin to put their lives back
together,” stated Mr. Holding. “We will not tolerate those who try
to obtain these funds fraudulently. Investigators and prosecutors
stand ready to perform their duties. If you suspect fraudulent
activity, please contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline.”
Members of the public can report fraud, waste, abuse or
allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations
through the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-
5721 or the Disaster Fraud e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The
telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven
days a week.
Members of the public are reminded to apply a critical eye
before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations on
behalf of tornado victims. Solicitations can originate from emails,
websites, door-to-door collections, mailings and telephone
calls, and similar methods.
In anticipation of unprecedented fraud in connection with
federal disaster relief following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and
Wilma, a Joint Command Center was established in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana, to coordinate reports of fraud. The Command Center, now
known as the National Center for Disaster Fraud, has since expanded
its mission to include suspected fraud from any natural or manmade
disaster. More than 20 federal agencies participate in the center,
allowing it to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person
or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of flood
victims, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free
at (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to (225) 334-4707
or e-mail it to email@example.com.