Business Bulletin: What to consider when giving to hurricane relief

Posted September 01, 2017

A news release from the organization said scammers often see emergencies as prime opportunities, and reports have already come to the agency about storm scams and fake 800 numbers to make donations. Contact an established disaster relief organization, suggests the American Red Cross, to see what items are needed and to make sure the group is equipped to handle the donations. "There will be fraudulent charity solicitations, some involving websites and email links attempting to steal your credit card information for identity theft or to insert malware on your computer", says the CharityWatch website.

United Airlines recently announced it will give up to three million bonus miles to MileagePlus members who donate to Hurricane Harvey relief charities.

Alaskans can fall victim to Hurricane Harvey scams even though our state is thousands of miles away from the disaster zone.

For reliable information, lists of BBB Accredited Businesses by industry, and BBB Business Reviews you can trust on local businesses and charities, visit www.bbb.org. "Unsolicited investment offers seeking to capitalize on the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey should be approached with extreme caution".

But those are just a few of the charitable groups raising money for relief - online organizations, crowdfunding efforts, and local fundraisers have made the business of giving complex, making it hard to determine which fund is best, or legitimate at all.

Research the charity online. She said she would match up to $1,000 of her own money. Avoid sending cash donations. They may try to steer givers to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate charitable causes by mimicking sites and using names similar to legitimate charities. Check out the charity with the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar. "Giving to help those impacted is good, but it's important to donate to a legitimate charity that has experience getting help to those affected quickly".

If you donate through Salvation Army or Red Cross you can specify exactly where you want your money to go.