The effects of Hurricane Harvey and the flooding in Texas have prompted many people to open their hearts and wallets to try to help the victims. Unfortunately, events like these provide an opportunity for scammers.
The Better Business Bureau issued an advisory Monday with these reminders:
1. Don’t fall for copycats.
Double-check the name of charities. A scammer may use a copycat name that is similar to a reputable organization.
2. Be wary of emails and social media.
“If you receive an email or see a social media post that link to a relief organization, beware. Scammers may provide links to fake websites. It is always best to go straight to the charity’s website instead,” the bureau advised.
3. Don’t provide personal information.
Legitimate charities may ask for your name or mailing address. But if someone asks for your social security number or requires a copy of your driver’s license, don’t bite. It may well be an attempt at identity theft.
4. Do the homework.
Visit give.org to review the BBB Charity Report and to verify that a charity meets bureau standards for accountability.
5. High pressure.
Be leery of a charity that insists on immediate relief help. Legitimate charities will be glad to accept a donation later on.
We recommend donating to the American Red Cross.