Severe storms, widespread destruction, and those looking to help... it's a perfect recipe for scam artists looking to capitalize on the good hearts of those wishing to make a difference after a disaster. Now, officials are urging everyone to be on the lookout for scams.
Officials say being familiar with the organization you decided to donate to is a key to making sure you aren't a victim of a scam. Especially, if you know how that organization collects donations.
"If anyone comes to your door, it's not a Red Cross person. If you get a phone call, it's not from the Red Cross. Those are two very important things that people will try to do," says Sharon Callow, Executive Director of the Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. "Or they'll try to have fundraisers and say this is for the Red Cross."
Another helpful hint, knowing what your organization accepts before handing over goods.
"In order to help victims in times like we are having right now people have called in and want to donate clothing or things they have after a yard and garage sale. The Red Cross thinks and feels that people who have gone through such devastation, we give them a voucher or we give them moneys to go out and buy whatever is needed for them and their family. It helps the local economy," Callow says.
Helping the economy, which will eventually help the people.