Officials warning business owners about false SBA and FEMA workers

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Officials in Kentucky are warning small business owners and residents to be aware of a scam in which individuals pretend to be emergency or government personnel.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says that while no specific business types have been targeted, all small business owners need to be aware that individuals may falsely portray themselves as officials from FEMA or the U.S. Small Business Administration. FEMA says that those scammers may attempt to charge money for an inspection or ask for payment to process a disaster aid application.

The agency adds that all legitimate government officials will be able to show proper identification, and will never charge any fees for an inspection or to process disaster recovery aid. The agency also said that neither FEMA nor SBA officials will endorse specific contractors, or say they can recommend someone for repair work.

Complicating the situation is the fact that the SBA is also running a legitimate disaster recovery effort in the state – in response to serious storms and flooding that swept through the area last month – and offering assistance to businesses that took damage.