When you watch video and see pictures of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey...you want to help in anyway you can. Unfortunately, while disasters like this bring out the best in people, they also brings out the worst. You've heard the stories of crooks and scammers ripping people off by leading them to think they are donating to a real charitable organization when in reality...you're padding the pockets of these crooks.
Before you donate...ask yourself these questions:
- Are you always careful when donating to a charity? What steps do you take before making a donation?
- Do you get a lot of emails from places that ask you to donate? Are you ever concerned they may be scams?
If you would like to donate...here's some things to look out for to make sure you aren’t being scammed and your money is really going to help those in need. Tips include:
- Be on the lookout for organizations and websites with names that closely resemble reputable organizations, like givetotheredcross.org rather than redcross.org.
- Real organizations have no problem providing proof a donation is tax deducible so if yours won’t, it could be a scam.
- Never give money through a link you get via email, even if it’s sent by someone you trust. If you want to give to an organization go directly to their site and give money that way.
- Watch out for email attachments with links allegedly to charitable organizations which could contain malware.
- Think twice before giving money to anyone pressuring you to donate. Reputable organizations should give you time to do your research before giving money
- Never give money to someone asking for cash donations or to have you wire them money.
Source: USA Today