LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada and the FBI’s Las Vegas Office reminds the public to be aware of and report suspected fraudulent activity related to disaster assistance relief in the aftermath of a series of natural disasters in the United States and the recent shooting tragedy in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, criminals may use tragic events to exploit people and communities for their own gain. Solicitations can originate from social media, emails, websites, door-to-door collections, mailings, telephone calls and other similar methods.
The Department of Justice established the National Center for Disaster Fraud 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 man made disaster. More than 30 federal, state and local agencies participate in the National Center for Disaster Fraud, which allows the center to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information related to disaster relief fraud.
Member of the public who suspect fraud involving disaster relief efforts, or think they’ve 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud, visit http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud.