Fundraising efforts are already underway as many people look to help the victims impacted by Hurricane Dorian, but experts are warning people to be careful when donating money.
A representative for the Better Business Bureau said this is a prime time for con-artists to come out and take advantage of a natural disaster.
Organizations, businesses and thousands of ordinary people are stepping up to help the victims of Hurricane Dorian. The Better Business Bureau is among the groups advising people to proceed with caution when making a donation.
“It’s encouraged for donors to take their time, make sure they’re giving to a legitimate organization and not handing their personal money over to a con artist,” said Pamela Marlowe, Public Relations Coordinator at the Better Business Bureau.
Marlowe also says you can avoid scams by looking up the organizations website or calling them to check where they say the money is going.
“Find out where exactly your money will go,” Marlowe said. “Will it stay local to help people in this area serve those affected or will it go directly to Hurricane Dorian victims… where those victims are located.”
Another good tip is to check out the Bureau’s website and look to see if they are on their accredited charities list.
Pam Masi, the Executive Director of the American Red Cross in Erie says that they try to be very transparent with donors and let them know how the money will be spent.
“We’re proud to say that 90 cents of every dollar during disaster relief is spent on the actual disaster relief mission to shelter, feed and comfort people,” Masi said.
Masi also adding that if someone is collecting money on behalf of the Red Cross, it is good to call and verify the money is actually being raised for the Red Cross relief efforts.
If you have been affected by a con artist recently, make sure to report it to the police or the Better Business Bureau or the police so that they are aware of the scam.