Monday, January 18, 2010

FBI Sets Up Haitian Fraud Hotline

The FBI and the National Center for Disaster Fraud have established a telephone hotline to report suspected Haitian earthquake relief fraud. The number is (866) 720-5721. The phone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also e-mail information directly to disaster@leo.gov.

The National Center for Disaster Fraud was originally established by the Justice Department to investigate, prosecute, and deter fraud in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when billions of dollars in federal disaster relief poured into the Gulf Coast region. Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud from any natural or man-made disaster. More than 20 federal agencies, including the FBI, participate in the NCDF, allowing it to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information related to Haitian relief fraud.

The FBI says people wanting to donate to Haitian relief should be cautious about anyone soliciting donations. Solicitations can originate from emails, websites, door-to-door collections, mailings and telephone calls, and similar methods.

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