How Do Avoid Con Artists?
Natural disasters bring out the best and the worst of human nature.
Although many Americans are eager to help the victims, others may try to profit from post-catastrophe generosity.
Ask yourself what type of disaster relief you want to support. Some organizations specialize in emergency shelter. Others may offer food, clothing, water, medical assistance, or help survivors search for family members.
Once you know what you know specifically how you want to help, you can look for organizations that provide those services, and then compare them to find the ones that operate most efficiently.
In the aftermath of a disaster, many new charities may be formed to aid the victims. They may have good intentions, but often lack the money and experience to deliver on their promises.
Any charity should be registered with appropriate state government agencies, be able to describe exactly what it will do to address the needs of victims, and provide written information about its finances and programs.
Reputable nonprofit organizations are always willing to discuss their programs and finances. They will provide information about their work, answer questions about how your money will be used and never pressure potential donors.
It is better to postpone making a donation than respond impulsively to an urge to help, especially if you receive an unsolicited call or email asking for money.
The BBB warns that some phone solicitors use the names of well-known charities without authorization, just to acquire credit card and other personal information from donors. Spam or email messages asking for contributions may also be attempts to defraud donors.
Trust your feelings. If you have any doubts about a charity, avoid it and look for another that makes you more comfortable.