Community Relations Service
Community Relations Service
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is raising awareness that Hurricane Harvey disaster survivors, and their friends and family, must be alert for false rumors, scams, identity theft, and fraud. Although many Americans are working hard to help their neighbors now, during chaotic times, some will always try to take advantage of the most vulnerable.
Although many Americans are working hard to help their neighbors now, during chaotic times, some will always try to take advantage of the most vulnerable.
To dispel some of the false rumors circulating on the internet and social media, FEMA created a dedicated website to address some of the most common themes. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Visit https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey-rumor-control to get the most accurate information from trusted sources.
Here is how to protect yourself, or someone you care about, from disaster fraud:
- Federal and state workers do not ask for, or accept, money. FEMA staff will never charge applicants for disaster assistance, home inspections, or help filling out applications. Stay alert for false promises to speed up the insurance, disaster assistance, or building permit process.
- In person, always ask to see any FEMA employee ID badges. FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams may be in impacted communities providing information and assisting survivors with the registration process or their applicant files.
- A FEMA shirt or jacket is not proof of identity. All FEMA representatives, including our contracted inspectors, will have a laminated photo ID. All National Flood Insurance Program adjusters will have a NFIP Authorized Adjuster Card with their name and the types of claims they may adjust.
- If you are unsure or uncomfortable with anyone you encounter claiming to be an emergency management official, do not give out personal information, and contact local law enforcement.
- If you suspect fraud, contact the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or report it to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
- More information on disaster-related fraud is available at the Texas Attorney General’s Office website at texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/disaster-scams or call -800-252-8011.
- In Louisiana, disaster-related fraud information is available on the State Attorney General’s Office website at http://www.agjefflandry.com or contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud’s hotline at 1-866-720-5721
What We Do
The Community Relations Service is the Department's "Peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and disability. CRS is not an investigatory or prosecutorial agency, and it does not have any law enforcement authority.
Rather, the Agency works with all parties, including State and local units of government, private and public organizations, civil rights groups, and local community leaders, to uncover the underlying interests of all of those involved in the conflict and facilitates the development of viable, mutual understandings and solutions to the community's challenges. In addition, CRS assists communities in developing local mechanisms and community capacity to prevent tension and violent hate crimes from occurring in the future. All CRS services are provided free of charge to the communities and are confidential. CRS works in all 50 states and the U.S. territories, and in communities large and small, rural, urban and suburban.
Who We Work With
The Community Relations Service responds to communities across the nation to promote peaceful resolution of conflicts and tensions. Conflict resolution specialists strategically located in 10 regional offices and 4 field offices throughout the country respond to meet the unique needs of communities in the states and U.S. territories they serve. Click the links below to learn more.