NAPLES, Fla. Pam Wilkin got an unpleasant surprise when she attempted to apply for FEMA assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Wilkin believes someone used her name and address to file for assistance, as well as her husband’s information.
“She said, ‘Oh yeah there’s an application on file for him it’s pending,’ I said, ‘No, you don’t understand, I didn’t fill out this application,'” Wilkin said.
Wilkin needed the money to cleanup downed trees that fell on her patio and to repair her damaged roof.
“They’re scum suckers, pond scum, lower than pond scum,” Wilkin said.
Wilkin is afraid her banking and other personal information may be compromised too.
The National Center for Disaster Fraud has received hundreds of fraud complaints after the storm, according to the Department of Justice.
The U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman released the following statement Friday:
Currently, the Justice Department’s National Center for Disaster Fraud has receive more than 850 complaints related to Hurricane Harvey, more than 700 related to Hurricane Irma and already a handful related to Maria. The complaints involve, among other things, allegations of false claims to FEMA for individual assistance, impersonation of FEMA representatives, donation fraud, suspicious advertisements for inspectors, identify theft, price gouging, thieves pretending to need shelter, and contractor fraud.
To report FEMA fraud, call the Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.