Home News Stories 2006 February Hurricane Katrina Fraud

Hurricane Katrina Fraud

Hurricane Katrina Fraud
Do You Pass the Test?

02/03/06

Rolled currency with construction equipment and words, “Katrina Fraud”Talk about generosity: it wasn’t long after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the gulf coast last fall that thousands of web sites began appearing seeking donations for disaster victims and relief efforts.

Unfortunately, some of these websites were fake—designed to steal your money, pure and simple.

Working with a range of partners, the FBI has already opened some 100 investigations into these fraudulent sites...and we have dozens more cases underway involving hurricane-related fraud and corruption.

Many cases have resulted in charges and convictions. Three recent examples:

  • On January 30, a Florida con artist who claimed he was a pilot and had delivered relief supplies to hurricane victims pled guilty a Hurricane Katrina Internet scam.
  • On January 27, two federal officials were arrested for taking $20,000 in bribes from a contractor to inflate meal service count numbers at a relief base camp in New Orleans.
  • On January 26, six Portland, Oregon, residents were indicted for passing themselves off as Katrina victims to get government relief funds in a case worked by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI.

You can read about more cases and get details on potential scams to watch out for on our Hurricane Katrina-Rita Information webpage.

And if you’re thinking of contributing to hurricane relief efforts, please read this information provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

For more details on how to protect yourself from fraud and other crimes, visit our Be Crime Smart webpage.