Augusta, GA (WJBF) - Many of you want to help with Hurricane Florence relief and you expect your donation to count. Unfortunately, there are posers out there robbing you of your contributions. It is low, but it happens. We have seen reports of people who claim to collect donations, but it is a scam.
In a press conference earlier this week, the Attorney General for North Carolina listed some reputable organizations.
“There is the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund that is done by the state of North Carolina. There are established organizations like the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina the United Way of North Carolina the North Carolina Community Foundation and there are dozens of other important and effective charities,” says NC Attorney General Josh Stein. “Just support those and not somebody who reaches out to you because you have no idea who they are.”
The groups he mentioned are all in North Carolina. There are plenty of honest organizations in your state also, but there are scams as well.
NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne shares how you can detect signs of fake charities.
- First is an easy stem. Search online for the charity’s name plus things like “complaint,” “review,” “rating,” or “scam.”
- Pay legit organizations with your credit card. Scammers often ask for cash, gift cards or money wires.
- Keep in mind, crooks can change caller ID to look like the call is coming from a local area code.
- Keep a record of your donations. Check your accounts to ensure you are only charged the amount you donated and you are not signed up for repeat payments.
- Don’t let anyone rush you to give. If you are pressured to pay fast, something is wrong.
- Don’t work with those offering prizes in exchange for a donation. That is illegal.
- Don’t fall for vague and sentimental claims when there are no specifics about how your gift will be used.
- Don’t give to an organization if the brand seems off. Sometimes imposters use names that sound very close to a real charity.
- If you are thanked for a donation you never made, don’t be fooled. Some scammers use that as a trick to lure you into giving.
You should report fraud to two places. First, the Federal Trade Commission. Go to FTC.GOV/COMPLAINT. Also, find your state charity regulator by going to NASCONET.ORG and share as much information you can about the scam.
The following are organizations that give reports and ratings on how charities operate.
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