Beware — these fraudsters aren’t letting the crisis in Houston go to waste

Patsy Lynch/MediaPunch/IPX

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

Reports have surfaced of looters posing as federal agents in order to rob the homes of Houston flood victims.

According to these reports, the fake agents would knock on doors and tell residents they needed to evacuate immediately. The robbers would get the residents out of the house while they took cash, valuables, and other items that could be sold easily.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a statement warning residents about the problem and offering tips on how to identify legitimate federal agents. The statement mentioned looters may pose as agents for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and tell residents to evacuate.

“Real HSI officials wear badges that are labeled ‘special agent’, which members of the public can ask to see and verify,” the statement read in part.

RELATED: As Harvey rages on, so do Internet hoaxes

“Members of the public who receive such visitors should ask to see these properly labeled badges, and their credentials,” the statement advised.

Other reports have surfaced regarding the status of undocumented immigrants who may hesitate to seek shelter from the storm. Rumors on social media claim federal immigration agents will be checking the immigration status of flood victims who go to local shelters. The city of Houston posted tweets in both English and Spanish dispelling the rumor.

“We will not ask for immigration status or papers from anyone at any shelter. This rumor is FALSE!” the tweet stated.

RELATED: Volunteers step in as rescuers for Hurricane Harvey victims

At this time, only specific neighborhoods in and around Houston are under a mandatory evacuation order. Residents are advised to check with trusted media sources, such as local TV and radio stations, to learn about evacuation orders in their area.

What do you think?

Grieving fans share their stories of the moment that they learned that Princess Diana died

Did Houston have to flood? — How unchecked development resulted in greater damage from Harvey’s waters