Member Alert: Hurricane Harvey Charity Scams!
As the rain continues to wreak havoc on Texas and the surrounding areas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, people across the country are stepping up and sending money and supplies to the millions of people that have been negatively impacted by this disaster.
Dozens of reputable charities and organizations are on the ground helping rescue residents from their flooded homes and are providing food and medical care to those in critical need. However, people need to be aware that scammers have already started to arrive on the scene to take advantage of people’s generosity.
As many media outlets have reported in the past, disasters like this are often used by scammers to create fake charities and crowdfunding campaigns.
How can you protect yourself?
If you are donating to a charity or nonprofit, there are a few general tips to remember:
- It’s better to donate to a reputable organization that was not created in the direct aftermath of the disaster.
- Research charities on websites like charitynavigator.org, givewell.org or guidestar.org
- When you donate, try to donate directly through an organization’s website. Scammers use phishing emails to try and gain your personal information. Also, if you donate using Facebook or Twitter directly, make sure the organization you are making the donation to is legitimate.
- If you donate via text, only do so to organizations that you trust and that have protection in place, like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
- The Federal Trade Commission offers information too. Click here to learn more about these types of scams. If you suspect you’ve fallen prey to a charity scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC.
The best defenses against scammers are education and vigilance. Make sure your friends and family stay protected by sharing this information with them.
« Return to "Member Alerts"