Residents encouraged to apply for FEMA assistance, avoid scammers

Local municipalities and counties are encouraging their residents to apply for assistance from the federal government, while also warning of scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals.

Residents may qualify for up to $37,900 for federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in order to recover from adverse effects brought on by Hurricane Ian. Those who experienced property or automobile loss or damage may apply for up to $37,900 in additional funds.

Local officials are also warning residents to be wary of scammers trying to collect application fees to process claims.

FEMA requires no application fees, and residents have reported receiving calls, emails, and texts from scammers purporting to be FEMA employees. Officials are advising residents not to trust anyone soliciting or accepting money to provide disaster assistance.

Scammers who pressure residents for payment over the phone, or through gift cards, CashApp, or other means, can be reported through the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.

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