U.S. federal agencies are warning those who wish to to donate money for those victimized by Hurricane Harvey to be especially wary of scam artists. In years past, shameless fraudsters have created fake charities and other fraudulant relief efforts in order to capitalize on public concern over an ongoing disaster.
The FTC also warns consumers not to assume that a charity message posted on social media is a legitimate, and urges folks to research the organization before donating by visiting charity evaluation sites such as Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, GuideStar, or the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. The agency also reminds people who wish to donate via text message to confirm the number with the source before you donate.
Also be cautious of malware purveyors who use natural disasters and other breaking news items of broad interest to trick people into clicking on malicious links or opening booby-trapped email attachments.