Lets give to Charities but, don’t become a victim yourself.


After a disaster, another tragedy is sure to follow.

Once the news broke about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the U.S. government and other organizations quickly started warning of scam artists trying to dupe people into sending them money intended for the victims. Such low-life hucksters know that once some people see video and photos of victims crying out for help, their generosity will trump their caution.

Just a day after the quake, the FBI issued a warning about Haiti-related scams. The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance also issued a warning that fraudulent charities will likely emerge.

“People get emotional, and they want to give fast, and they want to do it conveniently, so they set caution aside.”

But you must be cautious.

The FBI and the Better Business Bureau recommend the following:

» Don’t respond to any unsolicited incoming e-mail or click on links contained within those messages.

» Be skeptical of people claiming to be surviving victims. After Katrina, dozens of individuals were indicted for falsely representing themselves as such.

» Be wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will assist relief victims. Despite what some organizations might say, there are expenses connected to collecting money.

» Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations. There are a number of Internet-based resources that can assist you in vetting a charity. For example, you can go to, or


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