When something as devastating as the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that recently struck Haiti happens, our first instinct is often to ask, “What can I do to help?” With so many people eager to provide aid with monetary donations, it’s all too easy for scammers to take advantage.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning residents about the potential for charity scams related to this natural disaster.
“It is harrowing to hear the news reports of the devastation that our neighbors in Haiti are currently enduring,” said Moody. “With the aftermath of Tropical Storm Grace wreaking havoc on Haitians, some efforts to recover from the earthquake are being stalled. I encourage generous Floridians to help provide support but watch out for fake charities trying to exploit the tragedy to steal money.”
You work hard for your money and are trying to make a difference, so it’s important to be careful when vetting organizations for your donation. Below are some tips from Moody’s office for avoiding scammers during this time of need for Haiti:
• Ensure that a charity is registered by searching Charity Navigator or sticking to established, well-known organizations.
• Carefully check the charity’s name and review how contributions will be used.
• Do not provide banking or other personal information to unsolicited callers or in emails on behalf of a charity.
• Be wary of crowdfunding campaigns created by unknown individuals.
Just like with social media, email or phone scams, it’s important to report a charity scam if you run across one so it can be investigated and shut down. You can do this by visiting the Attorney General’s Office at MyFloridaLegal.com or by calling 866-9NO-SCAM.