In light of Hurricane Sandy that pounded the East Coast, the BBB cautions people to look out for scam artists who will seek to profit off the disaster. People are already posing as representatives of cable TV companies, cell phone providers, public utilities and internet service providers, calling and claiming people will receive a billing credit due to outages caused by Hurricane Sandy, and then asking for bank account info. Just as with 911 and other past disasters, understand that other variations of this will crop up in the next few weeks.
Tips to donate, and avoid being scammed:
Make donations to established organizations known for providing disaster relief.
Initiate the donation yourself, rather than responding to online or phone solicitations.
Before entering credit card information, confirm an online donation site is secure.
Look for the closed padlock or “https” in the address bar.
Avoid door-to-door solicitors or offers from charities to stop by your home to pick up a check.
Never give your account information over the phone to anyone unless you initiate the call.
A few resources to help keep you up-to-date on the latest attempts to steal your money include:
BBB reviews of national charities-including how much money really goes to the actual cause
Other useful tips for donating to charities can be found on our website.