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Press Release

U.S. Attorney and Butte County District Attorney Join Forces to Warn Against Wildfire-Related Disaster Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

OROVILLE, Calif. — U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott and Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey joined forces today to raise public awareness of the potential for fraud in the wake of the Camp Fire. The public is urged to be on guard against fraudulent activity relating to recovery and cleanup operations, fake charities claiming to provide relief for victims, individuals submitting false claims for disaster relief, and any other disaster fraud related activity.

U.S. Attorney Scott stated: “While most people respond to tragic events like the Camp Fire with compassion and generosity, others take advantage of such disasters to fraudulently enrich themselves. I strongly encourage the public to be on the lookout for any fraudulent activity occurring in the aftermath of our state’s most devastating wildfire. With the combined resources of federal and local law enforcement, we will aggressively pursue and prosecute fraud and abuse.”

Butte County District Attorney Michael Ramsey said: “There has been a tremendous outpouring of generosity towards our victims of the Camp Fire. We all know of a friend or family member that was personally affected by this disaster. We cannot allow those with less generous spirits dampen our desire to rebuild our community stronger and better. With the help of our federal partners, we will protect our community from these predators.”

The U.S. Department of Justice established the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) to investigate, prosecute, and deter fraud in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when billions of dollars in federal disaster relief poured into the Gulf Coast region. Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud from any natural or manmade disaster. More than 20 federal, state, and local agencies participate in the NCDF, which allows the center to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information related to disaster relief fraud.

Members of the public are reminded to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before trusting anyone purporting to be working on behalf of disaster victims, and to be especially cautious of anyone who contacts you seeking personal identifying information or financial information. Members of the public who suspect fraud involving disaster relief efforts, or who believe that they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-5721. The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also fax information to the Center at (225) 334-4707, or email it to

Updated December 12, 2018

Disaster Fraud
Financial Fraud