As reports of flooding and damage continue to rise, many people will seek out ways to donate or volunteer to Hurricane Florence relief. The Better Business Bureau, however, said this rise in donations provides an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of those trying to be helpful.
The bureau presented several tips on how to avoid a possible scam:
- Double-check the name of charities. Many scammers will use a similar, or copy-cat, name to reputable organizations.
- Go straight to the charity's website. Emails and social media posts may link to a fake website. The BBB said to beware of any emails or posts you receive that link to any 'relief organizations.'
- Don't provide personal information. If you run across a site that asks for a social security number or driver's license, the BBB said it could be an attempt at identity theft. Most charities ask for simple information, like names and mailing addresses.
- Do your research. The BBB creates a list of accredited charities that is constantly updated. Before sending donations, look to see if the charity meets the bureau's standards.
The BBB also said time should not be a worry for donors, encouraging people to do research before deciding what charity to choose. For a list of all BBB Accredited Charities, visit give.org.