RUMOR CONTROL: FEMA is not going around Levy County giving out money cards

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LEVY CO., Fla. (WCJB)--
UPDATE (7/23/19, 9:30 PM):

First, coastal residents had to deal with flooding, now they may have to deal with scammers.

Levy County residents are being warned of a possible scam involving FEMA agents offering them money cards.

We spoke with Levy County Emergency Management officials about whether real FEMA assistance is on its way.

David Peaton the Assistant Director for Levy County Emergency Management says they personally haven't received any reports of fake FEMA agents offering money cards. They have however heard a few rumors swirling around about that happening so they wanted to get the record straight.

It's not unusual after a disaster for scammers to try and find victims to make an easy dollar.

Peaton explained, "any time any of these events come through whether it be a huge disaster or local disaster like the one we have here in Levy County scammers start coming out of the woodworks. We want to try and keep our residents as safe as possible from these people who could be impersonating FEMA officials, state officials and sometimes even emergency management officials."

Peaton says any FEMA assistance if it is even approved will most likely take weeks to arrive or even longer.
"We have taken our numbers and sent them up to the state of Florida for review. They will send a team down early next week to see what we can do about giving our residents some assistance but we just ask people to be patient. It's a process and there's no guarantee we'll get financial assistance either so we're working as hard as we can."

Even though roads are re-opened and most areas are drying out Peaton says there's still plenty of people still struggling with flooding and related damages.

"A lot of people have their private properties still affected. Peoples wells are under water, with this heat out here a lot of people's AC units aren't working now because they were flooded or still are flooded so there's still a lot of residents dealing with fairly bad flooding."

If you are approached by anyone saying they are offering money cards from FEMA, the state or even emergency management you're asked to get a description of the person and call the Levy County Sheriffs as soon as possible.
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The Levy County Emergency Management has received reports of people saying FEMA was going around the county giving out money cards, but this is not true.

Levy County has submitted a request to the State of Florida to be reviewed for disaster assistance, but this will take some time. No one from FEMA, Emergency Management, or the State of Florida is giving out any money just yet.

Emergency Management says if someone approaches you saying they are a representative from FEMA, please report them to the Levy County Sheriff's Office.