Beware when giving money to hurricane victims

Hurricane Dorian has pummeled the Bahamas, skimmed Florida, and blew floods into the Carolinas. Hundreds of thousands of people have been made homeless.

Knowing our readers as we do, we are sure that many of you are looking for ways to help, checkbooks at the ready.

But beware.

The scoundrels and scammers of this Earth like to use tragedy to turn a profit, preying on the giving spirit of Americans to line their own pockets. Every time there’s a natural disaster or other catastrophe, such bums come out of the woodwork to trick people into giving to them, sometimes even mimicking legitimate charities to fool donors.

Never give to someone who calls you. Instead, find an organization to which you want to give on your own. When you find a charity, research it on sites such as give.org, charitynavigator.org, charitywatch.org, and guidestar.org to make sure it’s legitimate. Be very skeptical of organizations calling to thank you for donations that you don’t remember making. And charities will never use high-pressure tactics to try to get you to open up your wallet.

If you think you’ve been scammed or someone has attempted to scam you, file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint.

Be giving, dear readers.

But be cautious.

(THE ALPENA NEWS)