It is devastating, to watch people who have lost their lives, homes, businesses from the ongoing flooding in Texas as a result of Hurricane Harvey. As natural disasters occur, people without taking a moment to think twice, generously donate to charities that state that they will provide direct aid to the victims of a natural disaster. It is disgusting to me to even think that there are scammers out there who are trying to exploit people’s genorosity.
The FTC urges you to be extremely cautious of possible charity scams, if you are looking to give back to those in need.
When donating back to charities, consider the following tips from the FTC:
- Donate to charities that you know and trust especially those charities that have a proven track record with natural disasters
- Be on alert for charities that have formed overnight in connection with current events. Make sure you check out the charity with Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar
- Make sure that you indicate the disaster, so your donation is going to disaster relief and not going to a “general fund”
- Never click on any links or open attachments in your email, unless you know who sent it (by clicking on links from an unfamilar source, you can be unknowingly installing malware on your computer)
- Make sure you research the organization, do not assume that any message a charity posts on social media is legit
- Make sure you confirm the number with the original source before you text to donate (you might see a charge for texting to donate, but the donation will not happen immediately)
- Confirm whether or not the charity or fundraiser needs to be registered with your state by contacting the National Association of State Charity Officials. If you find out the charity or fundraiser should be registered and is not, consider donating to another charity
For tips to help you prepare for, deal with, and recover from a severe weather event, visit Dealing with Weather Emergencies.
If you have been affected by a hurricane, have questions about your insurance coverage or need to purchase specific insurance coverages:
Source: Tressler, C. (2017, August 28). Wise giving in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Retrieved August 30, 2017, from Wise giving in the wake of Hurricane Harvey
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