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Natural Disasters Also Spawn Scams

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Natural Disasters Also Spawn Scams

The widespread damage caused by Hurricane Ike and other recent natural disasters bring out the scamsters.

Many scamsters will use e-mail and fraudulent websites to steal from you. Others will make their appeal over the telephone.

While there are many legitimate charities asking for donations, always check out a charity before making a contribution. Here's what you should do:

  • Check out a charity before donating. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance has reports on nationally soliciting charitable organizations.
  • If you want to contribute to a charity, contact them directly. By giving directly to them, you know that all of your donation has gone to them.
  • Never respond to a unsolicited e-mail, even if it seems to be from a legitimate charity. Scammers sometimes use names that are similar to well-known legitimate charities. After a Disaster: Spam May Scam from the FTC has more information.

The FTC Charity Checklist has tips you should use to make sure your donations provide the most benefit.