Watch for scammers impersonating charities during hurricane relief

Diane Wilson Image
Friday, August 28, 2020
Watch for scammers impersonating charities during hurricane relief
Watch for scammers impersonating charities during hurricane relief.

The devastation is great between the widespread damage from Hurricane Laura and the wildfires in California.

There is a great need for help, and if you want to give, remember to do your research first as scammers are impersonating legit charities.

"When you are researching that charity, you want to make sure that name is exact because it could be an impersonator and once you donate, you could lose all that money," said Catherine Honeycutt with the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern North Carolina.

The BBB suggests going to to see where donations go as on the website you can see a breakdown on how charities spend your donations and what percentage goes to administrative costs or the actual cause.

"We recommend at least 65 percent of the funds from that organization to be going to the actual cause," Honeycutt said.

Other tips from the BBB to giving wisely:

  • Be cautious about newly created charities. Though well intended, they may be less effective than more experienced groups and are harder to check out without a track record.
  • Don't rely on stories and passion alone in assessing trust. Most charities use stories to help describe their mission and motivate individuals to donate. Emotional pleas, however, are not a reliable indicator to verify trust. Look beyond the passion to see if the charity clearly indicates what specific activities your generosity will support.
  • Don't focus excessively on financial ratios. Though financial ratios are an important part of a charity's overall picture, excessive focus on low overhead spending can be misguided and potentially harmful to an organization's capacity for service. Also, some charities have already experienced financial hardships because of the effect of COVID-19 and other various reasons