The BBB Warns Scammers Will Get Busy With Hurricane Relief
Here comes the scammers. The Better Business Bureau and local authorities warn that scammers are preparing to make money during the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. In fact when disaster hits anywhere in the world BBB officials say scammers get busy looking for victims. They say not only do people need to be concerned about avoiding fraud but also about whether their money is going to a competent organization that's equipped to handle the unique challenges of providing help in a disaster. Authorities say before you open your wallet remember to never give your financial information over the phone. Never enter that information on a site you don't know or trust.
Before you click on any site check bbb.org
Use the BBB.org website and check the list of legitimate organizations you can trust.
Scammers will be calling and emailing pleas for help.
The BBB also has some other helpful tips to avoid becoming a victim;
Be cautious when giving online.
Be cautious about online giving, especially in response to spam messages and emails that claim to link to a relief organization. In response to other more recent disasters, there were concerns raised about many Web sites and new organizations that were created overnight allegedly to help victims.
Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups.
Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider “avoiding the middleman” and giving directly to charities that have a presence in the region. Or, at a minimum, check out the ultimate recipients of these donations to ensure the organizations are equipped to effectively provide aid.
Be wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will assist relief victims.
Despite what an organization might claim, charities have fundraising and administrative costs. Even a credit card donation will involve, at a minimum, a processing fee. If a charity claims that 100 percent of collected funds will be assisting earthquake victims, the truth is that the organization is still probably incurring fundraising and administrative expenses. They may use some of their other funds to pay this, but the expenses will still be incurred.
Donate directly to the relief charity you have chosen.
You may be tempted to make a donation by texting. Charities can raise significant sums this way, but be aware that it might take a long while for the money to reach the nonprofit if it is given through mobile texting. Text donations also typically have limitations on the amount you can give. To put your relief gift to work faster, go directly to the charity’s website to make your donation, or call them with your credit card number.