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Lindeen, Tinsley Warn of Fraud in Flood's Wake

 

   07-21-2011            

Contact: (CSI) Lucas Hamilton, 406.444.4237

    (DES) Monique Lay, 406.439.9414

Scam touts government assistance for household repairs  

Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen today reminded Montana homeowners to be wary of fraudsters advertising free, government assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for household repairs in the wake of record flooding in Montana.  

“Many Montana homeowners saw their property damaged by rain, hail, and floods this spring,” said Lindeen.  “As if the weather wasn’t hard enough, now scammers are targeting homeowners with an all-too-believable government assistance scam.  Montanans should be wary of salespeople advertising FEMA assistance for roof and exterior repairs to their homes for damage caused by hail.  Right now, FEMA is only working on repairing flood damage to public infrastructure.”  

Disaster assistance through FEMA has been secured for public roads and other infrastructure, but there is currently no federal or state assistance for flood- and hail-damaged homes.  Ed Tinsley, administrator of Montana’s Disaster Emergency Services Division, said FEMA can offer flood mitigation assistance to communities to reduce future flood risk, but such grants could take over a year to process.  

“Fraud and scams can complicate any disaster” said Tinsley. “We’re working together to assure these survivors recover quickly, without additional burdens.”