According to SOUTHERN LIVING

Disasters that attract national attention are often used by scammers to create fake charities and crowdfunding campaigns to rip off people donating to help a worthy cause. For example, bogus charities were created in the wake of September 11 and the Sandy Hook shooting that preyed upon people’s emotions. Scope out a charity’s website for financial info to make sure it’s legit. If it doesn’t say how the funds will be used, that’s a deal breaker.

You can also research charities on the following websites to see how they use their funds:

When you donate, try to donate directly through an organization’s website. Scammers use phishing emails to try and gain your personal information and you should never donate using Facebook or Twitter directly.

If you donate via text, only do so to organizations that you trust and have protections in place, like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

The Federal Trade Commission offers more advice here. If you suspect you’ve fallen prey to a charity scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC.

 


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