WASHINGTON (11/26/12)--Forged and fake Federal Disaster Assistance checks are being circulated at area credit unions and banks in the Northeast, according to Agility Recovery, a CUNA Strategic Services provider that works with credit unions and others on disaster recovery and business continuity.
Agility Recovery said it was informed by its partners at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that several checks had been passed at the financial institutions.
The Northeast and East Coast were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29 and 30, and states in that area have been dealing with extensive damages to homes and businesses.
The legitimate disaster assistance checks have the words "United States Treasury" in large Old English Text letters on the top left half of the check, with a smaller Treasury seal underneath the word "States." It also has the Statue of Liberty along the left border, facing off to the left side of the check.
The U.S. Department of Treasury checks associated with FEMA assistance will have "Disaster Assistance" identified on the lower left of the check and above the words "FEMA WASH."
Across the center of the check is financial account numbers and the Kansas City, Mo. account number, above the "Pay to the order of" designation and the name and address of the check recipient.
The right side of the legitimate check has the check number, more financial institution checking account numbers, the numerical amount of the check and a signature block in the lower right corner. The financial institution's routing number is displayed along the bottom. For more information about the checks, use the link.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also warned consumers to beware of scams that prey on disaster victims needing assistance and on generous Americans hoping to contribute to the recovery. Use the FTC link for more information about the variety of scams.