Phone Scammers Hitting 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund Recipients
By Sandra Dalton, Staff Writer
Phone scammers are targeting September 11th Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) recipients, including first responders and survivors of the attack. New York representatives Carolyn B. Maloney, Jerrold Nadler and Peter King have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are demanding that the Justice Department open a formal investigation. The scammers pose as representative of the VCF and ask recipients for personal information including their Social Security numbers.
The fraudulent calls come from people who claim to be double-checking information on behalf of the VCF. They ask their victims for information that can easily be used for identity theft including Social Security number, address, and other personal information.
The VCF was set up for first responders and survivors who have developed illnesses as a result of the 9/11 attack. Scammers are calling VCF recipients and may also be trying to get information out of staff at the law firms that have helped process VCF applications.
Where the scammers are getting the names of victims is not yet known
New York attorney David Eisbrouch who represents first responders and other 9/11 survivors with VCF claims says, “Nothing has been more gratifying than representing the victims of 9/11 who have been permanently harmed by exposure to the toxic air in Lower Manhattan after the attacks on 9/11, 2001. This exposure has caused untold suffering for victims and devastated their families.” He is outraged that criminals are now trying to take advantage of these heroes and their families.
Mr. Eisbrouch makes the following recommendations for anyone who receives a phone call claiming to be in connection with the VCF:
- Do not give out any information.
- Ask for the name of the firm who is calling. Find out if they are a law firm.
- Ask for their phone number and website.
- Ask if they have your VCF client registration number.
- Ask them what they need the information for.
- Take a phone number and call them back.
If you believe that you have been a target of the 9/11 VCF phone scam, please contact Attorney David Eisbrouch or the FTC.