Police urge tornado victims to be wary of possible scams

December 21, 2021 GMT

MAYFIELD, Ky. (AP) — Several complaints about fraudulent disaster relief workers have Kentucky State Police urging tornado victims to be wary of possible scams.

While there are many legitimate workers in western Kentucky, the state police post in Mayfield said in a statement that residents have reported individuals posing as Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives, American Red Cross workers, insurance adjusters and contractors.

Legitimate FEMA representatives have identification badges that include photos, never charge for providing assistance and are not authorized to collect personal financial information, police said.

Tips from the National Insurance Crime Bureau to avoid contractor fraud include working only with those who are licensed and insured, getting more than one estimate, checking references and drawing up a written contract.

Tornadoes killed 76 people in Kentucky last weekend in what the governor has described as the most destructive tornado event in the state’s history.