Hurricane Sandy was devastating to our community with many people losing their homes, possessions, and hope for a better tomorrow.
Through this devastation so many community members have stepped up and helped, through donating clothes, food, and their time as well as giving moral and even financial support. Now it seems that people who were victims of this “Frankenstorm” are falling victim again and there seems to be no end to the pain.
Elderly individuals tend to be prime target for victimization. This morning I received a call from a (516) number that came up on the caller ID as “F,EMA”. Thinking the comma was strange I answered it anyway, hoping it would be in regards to the assistance we so badly need to repair our home.
The woman on the line asked for my 89-year old grandmother and when I told her I handled the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) account, she did not ask me if I had written consent like FEMA normally would. She also did not ask for my registration ID number, and did ask for a full social security number for my grandmother, her date of birth and her address. I promptly hung up.
I called FEMA directly via their 1800 number and after verifying our registration ID did the FEMA representative inform me that there were no calls placed to us from FEMA since Dec. 8, 2012. She also could not verify that the phone number did belong to FEMA.
While it is not yet confirmed if this was in fact a scam, it is very terrifying to think that people who have already lost so much are now prey to people who want to take what little they have left.-Cassandra EberhardtSeaford