For most of us, the devastation in Texas and Louisiana is a time when we seek to reach out and help those affected by the storms. Our thoughts and hearts are with those affected and we often follow this up with volunteer work and donations. Unfortunately, for many this is an opportunity to prey upon the good will of people in an effort to scam you or hack your computer or phone. So, as you receive emails, texts, and social media posts claiming to be from organizations and individuals providing relief aid and support to those most affected please keep in mind that the criminals are out in force seeking to take advantage for their own profit. Below are some steps you can take to protect yourself and ensure your donation goes to a legitimate group out to help those affected by the storm:
Steps to stay safe and help those in need:
- Do not click on links in emails, texts, or social media claiming to be from relief organizations. If you wish to donate to these organizations go to their website by typing it into your browser. Most have a prominent donation link on the front page, many of them focused on Hurricane Harvey relief.
- Unless you know the person we recommend against donating to GoFundMe and similar sites as they do not verify that the fundraiser is actually the person shown, really in need, or how they spend the money.
- If you are not familiar with the organization you can check them out on the sites below. They will help you separate the real organizations from the scams:
We hope this helps keep you safe as you help those in need.