Don’t Be a Victim: False relief calls

Don't Be a Victim: False relief calls

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Hurricane Michael left behind damage and destruction in several states, and now, some might need to worry about one more issue.

Relief efforts continue throughout the Panhandle and in Southwest Georgia as many organizations are trying to get things back to normal, but with disasters come the other element - those taking advantage of the storm for a scam. While the recovery efforts roll on, there are looking to take advantage of the urgency of the situation, and taking advantage of those willing to help. Scammers usually try to target you in three ways - by phone, email or text. Look for the warning signs.

“They’ll be red flags. Ask for mail correspondence if someone is asking for a donation. Ask for mail, that way you can take some time and look at the opportunities if they don’t or ask you to take a gift card, or wire money. Those are red flags. Avoid those," said Larry Haskell, Salvation Army, Director of Development.

Often, making a contribution is an answer to an emotion, and wanting to help, and many times people willing to help are in a hurry to do so.

“I think it’s the urgency, the sense of urgency to make a gift now, without the proper time to think about the gift and how you’d like to make that gift. Requesting a credit card would be something that I would not do. Sending cash in the mail is another red flag. Don’t do that,” Haskell said.

You can also go online and check out various sites like Charity Navigator or Guidestar to do some research on the legitimate organizations.

Many of the legitimate organizations don’t seek money over the phone. If you are suspicious of anyone calling for donations, please call the Better Business Bureau, along with county and state organizations that monitor charities.

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