In times of tragedy, it’s natural to want to help in whatever way you can. But before donating to Tennessee tornado relief efforts, beware! Scam artist might use your good intentions against you with fraudulent emails, social media posts, calls, texts, donation websites, and even door to door knocks soliciting donations.
Donating money on the internet is a gamble with so much anonymity and very little accountability, but how do you make sure your donations during tragic events don’t fall into the wrong hands?
According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Agency, here are three things you should consider to avoid donation scams.
Research charities or crowd-funding campaigns yourself and make sure it’s clear exactly where your money is going.
“There’s ample opportunity for hoaxes like that to be conducted and unless a company, organization or even individual does their own due diligence to look into something, they may be subject to it,” Tom Fuentes, Law Enforcement Analyst.
Be cautious when it comes to opening email attachments. Experts say do not click on links in unsolicited email messages asking for money.
Be wary of fraudulent pleas and donation ads on social networking sites. The DHS cyber agency also warns about door-to-door solicitations during tragedies Even with all the scams, charitable giving can be an important part of healing after a national incident.
“You do your best at knowing that hey, there’s gonna be others out there that do things wrong, that do things for the wrong reasons, that are unethical but when you go in with the right heart in the first place, everything works out,” Jeff Nene, Convoy of Hope.