Thursday, September 08, 2005

Beware of Hurricane Katrina Fundraising Scams

Amidst all of the generosity and giving, there are some people who are using Hurricane Katrina to defraud good people out of money they thought was going to victims. These scam artists are worse than any looter captured on film in New Orleans last week. So what do you do to protect yourself?

  1. Telephone - If anyone calls you to solicit money for victims, ask that they send you paper information in the mail. If they say they don't have any or it will take too long, you'll know that they are scum. Any reputable charity would love to have a donor on a mailing list to ask for future donations.
  2. Email - This pretty much goes without saying. As everyone knows, there are spammers out there phishing for credit card and bank account information. The emails can seem very legitimate and the associated web sites can look just like the real thing, but beware of clicking on any links in email from unknown senders. If they sound like a good charity, look them up on This site works in conjunction with the Better Business Bureau to maintain a list of legitimate charities.
  3. Door-to-Door - Again, ask for paper information as well as websites and phone numbers for the organization. Don't give anyone any money at the door. If they are honest, they won't care how the money gets to their charity, as long as it gets there. Take their name and tell them you will donate via telephone after you have contacted the Better Business Bureau.
It's really pretty sad that it's come to this, but unfortunately the world is rife with people who have absolutely no moral compass whatsoever. Please take the advice of and Investigate Before You Donate.

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