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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

William J. Ihlenfeld, II
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY


1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Chris Zumpetta-Parr, Public Affairs Specialist

WWW.JUSTICE.GOV/USAO/WVN

November 21, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

U.S. Attorney Urges Caution With Hurricane Sandy Donations

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, expressed the need for the public to use caution when contributing to disaster relief efforts related to Hurricane Sandy. According to Ihlenfeld, suspected fraudulent activity pertaining to relief efforts associated with Hurricane Sandy should be reported to the toll-free National Center for Disaster Fraud (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. A report of fraudulent activity can also be made via email disaster@leo.gov.

“It’s sad that there are people out there that would take advantage of someone’s goodwill and generosity but the reality of it is that scams do happen,” said Ihlenfeld. “Scams can come in all forms- such as by email or phone calls. Be cautious of who you are giving your personal information to, and if it’s not a well-known, reputable charity, please do some research before making a contribution.”
In addition to raising public awareness, the NCDF is the intake center for all disaster relief fraud. Therefore, if you observe that someone has submitted a fraudulent claim for disaster relief, or observe any other suspected fraudulent activities pertaining to the receipt of government funds as part of disaster relief or clean up, please contact the NCDF.
Suspicious e-mail solicitations or fraudulent websites can also be reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

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