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prensaestatal.com Setiembre 26, 2017


Be Careful of Phony Charities Soliciting Donations for Victims of Hurricane Harvey

02 Setiembre 2017, 11:49 | Martinez Canez

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that President Trump will be donating $1 million of his own money to Harvey relief in Texas and Louisiana

He said scams are going around that may collect money and items that will not go to help those in need in Texas.

As of Tuesday, more than $1 million had been donated. Ask for detailed information about the organization, including name, address, telephone number, licensing information, and percentage of your donation that will go to the charity. Scammers will come up with a name that's very similar or in the URL the name could be one letter off.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter today is warning Oklahomans of charity fraud and other scams in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. You can also verify charities by checking to see if they're registered in your state through the National Association of State Charity Officials.

She says check their website, www.bbb.org, for tips on how to protect yourself and your pocketbook when it comes to disaster relief. Channel 2 News is teaming up with the Red Cross to collect donations in the west parking lot between 11 A.M. and 7 P.M.

Despite what an organization might claim, charities have fund raising and administrative costs.

Use caution with crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe-do your research to make sure those asking for help are legitimately in need.

"We just wanted to give back, as far as the community is concerned because I know how much they are suffering there", says Laura Seaman.

Hurricane Harvey is an vast disaster, and a huge amount of resources will be necessary to help the citizens of Texas, and the other states affected, to rebuild. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous individuals who will seek to personally profit from the generosity of their neighbors.

Search on websites such as Charity Navigator, GuideStar and the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance to find out how long the charity has been in existence and learn about its programs. The BBB says unless a charity is on the ground in areas impacted by Harvey, they probably won't be able to help with immediate needs.

On Facebook and Twitter, scammers have also set up fake charity pages to steal money and data.

Another factor to check out: whether a charity has a record of success in a disaster-affected region.

Go to the website IRS.gov for tools to quickly and easily check the status of charitable organizations.

When a natural disaster takes place, McGovern said there are some people who look to capitalize on it. "And they need us", said Scott McNichols, President of McNichols Company in Tampa.



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