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COH Beware flood victim scams

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From COH enewsletter


The Houston Police Department reminds victims of our recent flood
disasters to be aware of scams involving those falsely representing
themselves as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employees.  

Following an investigation into at least three incidents of
fraud/forgery related to the recent flooding in the Houston area, the
HPD Financial Crimes Unit identified and arrested a suspect, Derron L.
Skinner, (b/m, 25), on June 16.  

A photo of Skinner, who is charged with forgery can be found here

http://www.houstongovnewsroom.org/go/doc/2155/2840450/


The victims had filed claims for damages from the recent flooding.  One
of the victims told investigators a friend of hers knew someone who
worked at FEMA and could help them handle their claims.  The victims
were contacted by Skinner, who represented himself as a FEMA employee.
The victims' claim information was provided to Skinner and they were
instructed to meet him at their respective banks.  Skinner then gave
them several checks at one time, usually less than $1,000 each, and
instructed them to deposit the funds via an ATM.  The following day,
Skinner met the victims again at their respective banks where they
withdrew a significant amount of money (reportedly for fees and
inspectors) and gave him the cash.  A few days later, the checks were
charged back as fraudulent, leaving the victims responsible for any
money the bank did not recover, usually the amount given to Skinner.  

Investigators believe there may be more victims and urge anyone who may
have been contacted by Skinner to call the HPD Financial Crimes Unit at
713-308-2500 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.  

For more information on how to protect yourself from disaster-related
fraud and scams, visit
http://www.fema.gov/news-release/2016/06/17/protect-yourself-disaster-re
lated-fraud-and-scams



  




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