Call hotline to report disaster fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is reminding the public to use a national fraud hotline to report any suspected fraud related to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

In a statement Thursday, the Justice Department, the FBI and the National Center for Disaster Fraud said scams perpetrated by criminals are always a danger in the aftermath of a natural disaster and that people can alert authorities by calling a toll-free fraud center hotline that is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline is at 866-720-5721.

The center was established in 2005 by the Justice Department to investigate, prosecute and deter fraud in federal disaster relief programs following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

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