Print Page   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In
News & Press: Arizona Business News Updates

Disaster Survivors Urged to Beware of Recovery Scams

Friday, June 24, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rhette Baughman
Share |
Disaster Survivors Urged to Beware of Recovery Scams
Release Date:  June 23, 2011
Contact:  Carol Chastang  (202) 205-6987
Release Number: 11-41
Internet Address: http://www.sba.gov/news

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration is urging disaster victims seeking federal aid to be alert to scam artists posing as federal officials and to be cautious about any solicitations for fees to perform services that are available from federal agency staff for free.

In the wake of widespread flooding, wildfires and tornados in many areas across the country over the past few months, the SBA is particularly concerned about flyers that have appeared in tornado-damaged areas asking for non-refundable fees of up to $450 to help disaster victims fill out their loan applications and as much as $1,000 to verify losses and file loan applications. 

Federal agencies involved in disaster recovery will never ask for a fee or payment to file an application for financial assistance or to inspect damaged property.

"Historically, natural disasters bring out the very best in people, and there are countless stories of the selfless acts of helpful neighbors and volunteers,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. 

"Unfortunately, we have also seen in the past individuals who attempt to take advantage of people who need assistance. Disaster survivors should be vigilant in protecting their personal assets, particularly in the stressful environment of a disaster recovery.

"The SBA will not tolerate the defrauding of those who have already lost so much in the aftermath of these devastating disasters,” Mills said.  "Those who are found taking advantage of disaster victims will be prosecuted to the fullest extent provided by law.”

If you suspect a person is posing as a local or federal agent, or encounter what you believe are fraudulent activities connected with disaster relief operations, contact your local law enforcement officials, phone the toll-free National Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, or send an email to disaster@leo.gov.  The phone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To register for federal help after a disaster declaration, visit http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or call FEMA at 800-621-3362 (800-426-7585 for the speech or hearing impaired).

Disaster survivors may also visit one of the local recovery centers to get help with filing for assistance.  To get help with the disaster loan application, contact the SBA by email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or by calling 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for those with speech or hearing disabilities).

Those affected by recent disasters may also file a loan application online by visiting SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

The SBA makes low-interest, taxpayer-backed disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations of all sizes.  More information about the disaster assistance program is available at http://www.sba.gov/disasterassistance.

###

Get $5k-$20 in Free Marketing: Make 2017 Your Year for Success!

In Business Magazine

Use In Business Magazine as a tool to reach your customers for 2017. Through Print, Online, Social Media, Email & Events, you can realize an additional $5k to $20k in free advertising with In Business Magazine over 2017.

LEARN MORE

CopperPoint...at work for you

CopperPoint

CopperPoint delivers peace of mind to Arizona employers and their employees. We are the state's premier provider of workers compensation insurance, serving Arizona businesses, small and large, since 1925.

LEARN MORE

Speakers Forum

Speakers Forum.

ASBA is on the cutting-edge of what is happening right now in the business community. We are looking for dynamic speakers to present inspiring and relevant content at future events and become part of our current Mindshare or Storytellers series. If you or someone you know is experienced capturing a crowd and delivering insightful information on sales, marketing, HR, finances, or other topics we invite you to share your knowledge and apply today. We are your partner in business.

APPLY TODAY

RSVP

Experience ASBA

REGISTER

Date: Held monthly
Time: Click for times based on location
Location: Phoenix or Tucson

RSVP

ASBA Speed Networking

REGISTER

Date: Held monthly
Time: Click for times based on location
Location: Phoenix or Tucson

Affordable Dental Plans for ASBA Members

Delta Dental

Your smile deserves Delta Dental, the nation’s leading dental benefits provider. With the largest network of dentists, personalized service & special pricing for ASBA members, we make it easy to keep your smile healthy.

LEARN MORE

Have questions on small business and health insurance?

Health Insurance

Get the latest on individual, sole proprietor, or group plans related to small business. We can help you find the right plan for you, and your employees. Click to learn more!

LEARN MORE

Small is the New Black

ThinkSmallBiz

What's trending for 2017? Small Business! This year, resolve to support our local economy by "Thinking Small" at least one time each week! Need help finding a small biz? Visit ThinkSmallBizAZ.com! #ThinkSmallBiz

LEARN MORE

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal