And other celebrities like Drake, who is Canadian but has lived in Houston for the last eight years, have also been encouraging people everywhere to engage with relief efforts. “If they’re not already in the area, there a possibility that it could be weeks before outside agencies are able to come in. They might have been taken off of another website”. During times of natural disaster, it is very common for scammers to create fake charities to make money from innocent do-gooders.
In a video (warning: the video contains profanity) posted to Instagram, the stand-up comic and actor dedicated $25,000 to the American Red Cross’ Harvey relief effort. They have the infrastructure, expertise and people with experience.
The Better Business Bureau, meantime, urges you to be careful of unsolicited phone calls, emails, or Facebook requests for help (even if it is a post shared by one of your Facebook friends). Scam artists may use this information to steal a donor’s identity and money.
Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations.
To help prevent donators from being ripped off in the wake of Harvey, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission this week issued a reminder to do research before donating. And don’t agree to give your donation to a courier or overnight delivery service. However, Charity Navigator suggests that instead of boxing up and sending your gently used clothing, you should hold a garage sale and send the proceeds to a group that can help more directly. These are more flexible and cause less of a strain on the charity, allowing them to help more, the CIDI explained.
If a charity says it will give 100 percent of donations to Tropical Storm Harvey victims, it might not be legitimate.
He has chosen not to donate his money to The American Red Cross, however, writing in the caption of his video that he is ‘skeptical about red cross so my donation will go to the people!’ Hy-Vee, Inc. announced Tuesday they will be accepting customers’ donations for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
If you donate via text, make sure to check your statement for accuracy.
This is an occasional column submitted by Bucks County Consumer Protection.