FBI investigates wildfire-related fraud

Dec 7, 2017

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is joining efforts to prevent fraud related to recovery efforts from the October Northern California wildfires. 

The bureau has created a task force with state and local agencies to investigate potential fraud against people who are trying to get their life back on track after the fires in October.

"We're looking at everything from in-person fraudulent schemes to things that are coming across on emails, social networking sites," said Stacey Moy, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's San Francisco field office.

He has this warning for people recovering after the wildfires.

"Be very skeptical about some of these scams and unsolicited attempts to gain personal information and make claims on their behalf and also to try to assist them, because a lot of these are unchecked and actually criminal activities," Moy said. 

The task force will use intelligence about fraud in other recent disasters, including hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico earlier this year, Moy said.

The Northern California wildfires were the deadliest in state history, killing 44 people.