Natural Disaster Charity Scams

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team recently warned people against phishing scams during hurricane season. Many scam e-mails link to legitimate-looking websites that ask for personal financial information however once you submit your personal or financial information you put yourself at great risk for trouble such as identity theft.

Here is a list of things you can do to avoid these phishing scams:

  • Never follow unsolicited web links received in e-mail message especially if you do not know the sender.
  • Verify the legitimacy of the organization by contacting them directly through a trusted contact number. You can always find contact information at the Better Business Bureau National Charity Report Index
  • If you ever become a victim of fraud you should report it immediately to the Disaster Fraud Hotline – 866-720-5721.

If you ever do want to donate money for a good cause such as a natural disaster you should check out USAFreedomCorps.gov. It’s a federal web site that lists approved non-profit organizations active in recovery efforts.