Beware: Hurricane Sandy ‘Scam’ Relief Is On The Way
9/11 (September 11, 2001) is a day that no one will ever forget. No matter who you are, where you live or what you were doing, we all remember that devastating day when America was under attack from horrific terrorist. Many fatalities were reported that day…. And many are still missing.
In December 2004, a massive tsunami hit Sri Lanka among other islands of Indonesia. Thousands lost their lives as this unexpected disaster terrorized paradise.
On October 29th (2012), Hurricane Sandy hit most of the New England and northeastern coast of the United States. The Hurricane struck with gusts of wind extending up to 175 miles from the eye of the storm; bands of rain showered the Atlantic region leaving behind a havoc of flooding and destruction. With these wind powers, Hurricane Sandy approach U.S. land as a category 1.
Through experience comes wisdom. What have we learned? What have we learned about the online scams that show their ugly face in the inevitable aftermath?
No country is exempt from experiencing natural disasters, terrorist attacks or guerrilla warfare.
When these situations arise, the world too – can be optimistic and encouraging.
Celebrities and kind-hearted people alike, often come to the aid of the victims of these circumstances. Telethons and donations are collected from giving humanitarians in hopes that these monies will be used toward those in need. What an inspiration!
However, often, funds are not being appropriated by those soliciting the donations – scammers.
Disaster scammers are fraudulent characters who prey on those in need or in extreme fear. They create phony charities desiring to con or ploy the donator. They watch with anticipation as the disaster prevails and like a thief in the night, wait and bait their next victim.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has advised people to use caution when giving to on-line charities: use cash to avoid identity theft and conduct research to make sure that the organization is legitimate and valid.
Many signs to be aware of when giving to charities include, but are not limited to:
- Strenuous / scare tactics
- Offering a prize or award for your donation
- Organization refuses to give a receipt
- Solicitors contacting you via telephone or email
- Beware of organization names mimicking valid charities
- Check non-profit status
“We naturally want to reach out and help those who face such powerful and deadly storms, and I encourage those who can to do so,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine. “But please be careful. Unfortunately, there are some who might use our generous nature to take the donations for themselves, not for those in need.”
The Better Business Bureau also offers information on the charities and organizations. Please log onto www.bbb.org for additional information or contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud 1-866-720-5721.