Charity Scams Are Very Real. Here’s How To Dodge Them

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Dealing with disasters are a part of doing business. You know how difficult it is to recover from a devastating flood or storm. While businesses tend to suffer from these situations, countless individuals suffer every time a natural disaster hits. Just take a look at the United States in recent weeks. Even though you may want to donate to people suffering from hurricanes, there are illegitimate charities out there that want to make a quick buck off of your generosity.

Donations now take advantage of web pages and online applications that can send your donations to those in need through an electronic payment system. This is why it’s much easier for scammers and fake charities to steal from those who simply want to do some good in the world. If you’re going to go out on a limb for someone else’s sake, be sure to keep these tips in mind before making a donation.

Only Donate to Charities that You Know
Believe it or not, there are people who will purchase the domain names for specific hurricanes as soon as the names of the storms are revealed. They’ll then plan to scam users from the start. If you’re ever in a position to donate to those in need, try to pick a charity that you’re familiar with to keep this from happening.

Confirm the Authenticity of These Organizations
When you’re looking for an organization to donate to, take some time to make sure that it’s one that is legitimate. You can evaluate the legitimacy of various charities at the following websites: Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, GuideStar, or the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

Be Skeptical of Links
If a major disaster has occurred, be sure to be skeptical of any messages you might receive in your inbox asking you to donate. Hackers may take the opportunity to scam users with phishing emails designed to garner support for those struck by a natural disaster. Links could lead to downloads or infected attachments that could infect your PC with malware.

If you would like to donate safely to those who are suffering due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, you can trust FEMA and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Remember, just because you want to help someone in need doesn’t mean that you should put yourself at risk to do so.

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