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CFO Warns Of FEMA Scam In Taylor County

Hurricane Hermine downed trees throughout the Big Bend region—cutting power and prompting insurance claims.
Nick Evans
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Florida Cabinet officials are warning Big Bend residents to be wary of scams as Hurricane Hermine recovery continues.

CFO Jeff Atwater’s office is investigating allegations of fraud in Taylor County.  Reports suggest people posing as federal officials are demanding cash to help residents fill out FEMA claims. 

“For a fee of $150,” Atwater spokeswoman Ashley Carr says.  “Now that’s not only just wrong it is also a lie—there is no such fee to file an insurance claim through FEMA.”

So far Atwater’s office has only heard reports of the scam in Taylor County.

“The good rule of thumb is really to go back to basics,” Carr says.  “Don’t give any personal information without verifying the identity of the person who’s asking for it.  Government officials carry official identification as do insurance company representatives.”

In addition, Florida Attorney general Pam Bondi’s price gouging hotline has received 28 complaints—18 of them in Leon county. 

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.