LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – Following the Jan.12 storms, many Troup County residents are now susceptible to fraudulent relief scams.

Emergency management officials are warning residents to be cautious of unexpected phone calls and visits to your home from people claiming to work for government agencies.

Any government employee tasked with disaster relief such as FEMA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will have identification on them. Local officials recommend double checking they all have government issued credentials.

On top of that, anyone who claims they can provide a disaster grant in return for payment is fraudulent. Government relief agencies never charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections or help in filling out applications. 

Troup County Emergency Management Director, Zac Steele, says it’s important for the citizens to remain vigilant in seeing exactly who they are dealing with.

“There are signs at our major intersections already saying, hey, roof damage, call this number,” said Steele. “We’ve already been reported of a lot of people seeing social media advertisements for roof damages. So it historically used to be: show up, sign this contract and I’ll do this for you. They’re taking that new approach of the times we live in, hitting people from the Internet.”

Another thing to look out for is people claiming to be partners with your insurance provider. Never give policy numbers, coverage details, or other personal information out to companies you have not entered into a contract with.

If your state requires licensing, verify that any contractor you are considering is licensed and has proper insurance.

If you believe you are a victim of a scam, report it immediately. You can contact your local law enforcement or the Georgia Attorney General’s Office at 800-869-1123.