Scam of the day – June 7, 2013 – Sandy Hook Elementary School charity scam

It is a sad state of affairs that immediately after the murderous rampage by Adam Lanza in which he killed twenty-six people including twenty children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012, I had to warn you about the charity scams that would be immediately turning up to prey upon your generosity and desire to help the victims.  Unfortunately, I was right and phony charities turned up within hours stealing money from people who were just trying to help the families of the victims.  It is indeed contemptible that after any tragedy whether it be a natural tragedy such as the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma or unnatural, such as the shootings in Newtown, scammers turn up to take advantage of the best intentions of us in order to steal our money by appealing to our charitable intentions.  Recently, Nouel Alba, a New York woman was indicted for a scam in which the Bronx District Attorney says she posted pictures of one of the victims, Noah Pozner, claiming she was his aunt and that she needed money to help pay for his funeral.  Nouel Alba is no relation to Pozner.

TIPS

To make sure that your charitable donations are going to where they can do the most good, make sure that any charity you wish to donate to is legitimate.  You can do this by going to www.charitynavigator.org and learn not just if the charity is a scam, but also how much of donations to the particular charity is spent on salaries and administrative expenses rather than going to the charitable purposes of the charity.  If you are contacted by phone, email or text message from a charity, you can never be sure that the person contacting you is legitimate even if he or she uses the name of a legitimate charity.  In that case, if you are charitably inclined, your best course of action is to contact the charity directly by phone or at an email address that you know is accurate to make your donation.