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J.L. Sousa, Register

Residents in areas affected by recent disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes should beware of common post-disaster fraud practices, according to information released by the City of Napa on Friday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently became aware of “potentially suspicious activity,” including fraudulent registrations, related to disaster recovery efforts, officials said. Common post-disaster fraud practices that residents should be on the lookout for include fake offers of state or federal aid, phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, and bogus pleas for post-disaster donations.

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Those who suspect fraud should contact the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General at 1-800-323-8603, TTY 1-844-889-4357 or file a fraud complaint online at oig.dhs.gov. Survivors can also contact FEMA's Office of the Chief Security Officer Tip line at 1-866-223-0814 or FEMA-OCSO-Tipline@fema.dhs.gov.

Anyone with knowledge of fraud, waste, or abuse can contact the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or DHSOIGHotline@dhs.gov.; or make a report with the Federal Trade Commission online at ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

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Public Safety Reporter

Maria Sestito is the Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She covers breaking news as well as crime and courts. Maria came to the Napa Valley Register in 2015 after working at as a reporter and photographer at The Daily News in Jacksonville, NC. S