Fake FEMA employee tries to scam flood victim - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fake FEMA employee tries to scam flood victim

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - With the number of Shelby County residents who have registered with FEMA for assistance on the rise, there is now a confirmed report of a scam artist posing as a FEMA employee.

Near the Shelter Assistance Center at Raleigh Springs Mall, a flood victim was approached by a man who said he was with FEMA.

The scammer told the flood victim he would need to give out his personal information, including social security number, to get assistance.

"It's despicable, deplorable," said FEMA spokesperson Gary Weidner.  "Anybody that has this happen to them, call the sheriff's office."

Weidner said real FEMA representatives will have clothes that say FEMA on them.  They will also have a badge with photo ID.

"At the centers, they're set up with computers, a great big FEMA van out there," said Weidner.  "It's pretty obvious someone would not be able to take the time and money to commit fraud that way."

FEMA centers are set up in Shelby County at three of the shelters.  Those three locations are the only place where you may have to give out personal information.

"They may say, 'we've got this information on file, can you confirm it?'" said Weidner.  "If I was them, I would say, 'read it off to me and I will say yes or no.'"

The District Attorney said it is a serious crime to try to prey upon flood victims and scam artists will be prosecuted.  If you catch someone posing as a FEMA representative, report it to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

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