January 18, 2010
Washington, DC (RPRN) 01/18/10 — The FBI and the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) 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 email@example.com.
The National Center for Disaster Fraud was originally established by the Department of Justice 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 continues to remind the public to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations on behalf of Haitian victims. Solicitations can originate from e-mails, websites, door-to-door collections, mailings and telephone calls, and similar methods.
Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, including the following:
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of Haitian earthquake victims, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also report suspicious e-mail solicitations or fraudulent websites to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.
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