BBB: Steer clear of Sandy scams | News
ALBANY, GA (WALB)- The Better Business Bureau, serving East Alabama, West and Southwest Georgia offers a warning to citizens who may feel the need to help people affected by tropical storm Sandy.
If the phone rings and the caller says they're collecting money to help those victims, you should be alert that scammers may try to play on our sympathies.
Here's their advice-
Wise Giving Alliance offers the following tips to help donors decide where to direct donations to assist hurricane Sandy victims:
1. Be wary of claims that 100% of donations will assist relief victims. If a charity claims 100% of collected funds will be assisting hurricane victims, the truth is that the organization is probably still incurring fund raising and administrative expenses.
2. Find out if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the Sandy-affected area. See if the charity's website clearly describes what the charity can do to address immediate needs. Unless the charity already has staff in the affected areas, it may be difficult to bring in new aid workers to provide assistance quickly.
3. Avoid the "middleman" charity. Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider "avoiding the middleman" and giving directly to those that have a presence in the region.
4. Question gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations. The organization needs the staff and infrastructure to distribute such aid properly. Ask the charity about its transportation and distribution plans. Be wary of those who are not experienced in disaster relief assistance.
5. Be cautious when giving online. Avoid emails and social media posts that claim to link to a relief organization. If you want to donate, go directly to the charity's website.
Research charities and relief organizations at www.bbb.org/charity.
BBB Serving East Alabama, West and Southwest Georgia
500 12th Street, Columbus, GA 31902
Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.