Natural disasters, such as the recent snow and ice storms in Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Missouri have caused severe hardship to many people. Natural disasters such as this bring out the best in people who want to donate to charities to help the victims. Unfortunately natural disasters also bring out the worst in scammers who are quick to take advantage of the generosity of people by contacting them posing as charities, but instead of collecting funds to help the victims of the storms these scam artists steal the money for themselves.
Charities are not subject to the federal Do Not Call List so even if you are enrolled in the Do Not Call List, legitimate charities are able to contact you. The problem is that whenever you are contacted on the phone, you can never be sure as to who is really calling you so you may be contacted either by a phony charity or a scammer posing as a legitimate charity. Similarly, when you are solicited for a charitable contribution by email or text message you cannot be sure as to whether the person contacting you is legitimate or not.
Never provide credit card information over the phone to anyone whom you have not called or in response to an email or text message. Before you give to any charity, you may wish to check out the charity with http://www.charitynavigator.org where you can learn whether or not the charity itself is a scam. You can also see how much of the money that the charity collects actually goes toward its charitable purposes and how much it uses for fund raising and administrative costs. Charity Navigator has a listing of specific charities that it has vetted that are good choices for anyone wishing to help the victims of these winter storms. Among the highest rated charities helping victims of the winter storms are Americares, Direct Relief and Family Promise. For a full list of vetted charities you may wish to consider go to charitynavigator.org’s special page for Winter storm charities. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=8555 You can also find information about how to make your donation at charitynavigator.org.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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