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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

April 6, 2010

 

National Disaster Fraud Hotline Available to Report Flood-Related Fraud


In response to the recent flooding in Rhode Island and subsequent relief efforts, the National Center for Disaster Fraud is reminding the public to be aware of and report any instances of alleged fraudulent activity related to relief operations and funding for victims.

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 disaster@leo.gov. 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 and do their due diligence before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations on behalf of flood victims. Solicitations can originate from e-mails, 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, La., 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.  To date, the National Center for Disaster Fraud has received and screened more than 38,000 complaints and has referred more than 24,000 complaints of disaster fraud to law enforcement for investigation.

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 disaster@leo.gov.

 

Contact: Jim Martin - Public Information Officer
401-709-5357

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