FEMA warns of scammers using fake phone number for Texas disaster relief


Snow falls in South Austin on February 18, 2021. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

AUSTIN (NewsNation Now) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Thursday that there is a phone scam circulating about hotel room assistance for Texans looking for shelter from freezing temperatures.

FEMA Region 6 said on their Twitter account that a false phone number is being shared with a message about FEMA paying for hotels for Texas Disaster Relief.

Inaccurate posts on the internet and social media encourage people needing a warm place to stay to call an 800 number and provide personal information including your address, social security number, and income.

“This is a scam,” FEMA tweeted Thursday.

FEMA said “the best information on legitimate sources of help will come from local officials” and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM).

TDEM also confirmed the post’s inaccuracy, tweeting, “Please beware of posts on social media encouraging you to call an 800 number for hotel compensation from @fema.”

Texans looking for a warming shelter can visit tdem.texas.gov/warm.

Texans seeking city information can call 311, and rural Texans can call 211, Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday.

FEMA is supplying generators and fuel to support hospitals and water facilities, as well as 729,000 liters of water and more than 50,000 cotton blankets, according to the agency. FEMA staff from out of state are slated to arrive in Texas Thursday.

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