FTC issues warning about Hurricane Harvey scams

Research the charity before making hurricane donations

The Best Ways to Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

With Governor Phil Bryant asking MS residents to stay put and not head to Texas to help with relief efforts, many of you may be turning to charities and organizations to make donations.

Starting Tuesday, all Safeway and Albertsons locations in OR and southwest Washington will accept donations at any check stand.

Check websites run by nonprofits and NGOs to learn more about what they're doing for disaster response and what kind of help they need.

While many people want to help disaster victims in any way they can, a deluge of canned goods or winter coats can actually add more stress to charities unable to properly distribute or store such items. "The need is staggering, but can be met if everyone gets involved". Even if they are well-intentioned, they may not have the necessary infrastructure to provide relief or services to the victims. However people decide to help, money is the best way to give right now, she stressed.

If you do want to donate, there is now a list on the BBB website of accredited charities that are helping with the relief funds in Texas.

To determine the trustworthiness of a charitable organization the FTC recommends you do some research into them.

Never click on links or open attachments in e-mails unless you know who sent it.

"There are dishonest people who are willing to try to take advantage", said Kris Kewitsch, executive director of Charities Review Council based in St. Paul. Experts said money is the quickest, most effective contribution most people can make during times of disaster.

"I think the connections the local organizations have to their communities are worth a lot", Post said.

Be wary of news that's only coming from one source, or an unsourced assertion on social media.

Although immediate donations are needed to assist in the emergency, the effects of Hurricane Harvey are likely to be felt for months and years to come, Weiner says.

Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau have provided this list of credible organizations and charities seeking donations in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

The Secretary of State's Office also lists three things a professional solicitor must provide at the time of a call: that they are a paid solicitor; the name, location and objective of the charity; and the registered, true name of the organization they work for. Therefore it is more hard to determine whether an organization is questionable or not.

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