How to avoid charity scams during Hurricane Laura relief, according to the BBB

Updated: Aug. 28, 2020 at 4:28 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Scammers will prey on your fear and desperation to take your money, especially after a natural disaster. Posing as a charity is one way they may try to get you.

Carmen Million with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) says she saw charity scams pop up after Hurricane Rita. So, she knows that there will be a possibility in the recovery of Hurricane Laura, too.

Some fall victim to scammers because they feel the need to help out quickly. But, Million says don’t act too fast or feel pressured to donate. Take your time and do your homework first.

“If you’re out of the area and you want to help these communities and you want to give a donation… Investigate the charity before you give money because you don’t really know where the money is going and you have to make sure it’s actually going to go to that area,” she said.

American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are just a few examples of legit organizations. The BBB accredits these organizations for Hurricane Laura relief, as well:

  • Americares
  • Direct Relief
  • Feed the Children
  • GlobalGiving
  • Heart to Heart International
  • International Medical Corps
  • Project HOPE
  • Save the Children
  • Volunteers of America
  • World Vision

The safest way to donate money is by check or credit card. Also, don’t give out any personal information like your bank account numbers or social security number without knowing the reputation of the organization.

Many of you may even try to take charitable matters in your own hands by arranging donation drives for the impacted areas. The BBB warns it’s not as easy as packing up the car and driving down there, though.

“If you’re going to gather supplies, take donations, or whatever the case may be… you need to get with the authorities in that town to make sure you can even get it to them,” said Million.

You can report possible false charities and other scams to the BBB ScamTracker here.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.