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Scammers capitalizing on tornado victims

From the Better Business Bureau

The Salvation Army released the following warning:

We received word from one of our National Advisory Board members about a robo-call from an organization (no name given) mounting an emergency appeal for funds for tornado disaster relief in Oklahoma. The pitch included specific reference to American Red Cross and Salvation Army, with text along the lines of “The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are on site working, and we need more funds to keep help coming.” There was an option to press 1 to donate. The call came from phone number 888-981-6499.

Please be advised that this is NOT authorized fundraising of either The Salvation Army or the American Red Cross.  We ask that you please warn your territories and/or Board Members about this scam.”

BBB Serving Western Michigan offers the following basic wise giving tips:

1. Get the Charity’s exact name. With so many charities in existence, mistaken identity is a common problem. Thousands of charities have “cancer” in their name, for example, but no connection with one another.

2. Resist pressure to give on the spot, whether from a telemarketer, door-to-door solicitor or telephone call.

3. Be wary of heart-wrenching appeals. What matters is what the charity is doing to help.

4. Press for specifics. If the charity says it’s helping the homeless, for example, ask how and where it’s working.

5. Check websites for basics. A charity’s mission, program and finances should be available on its site. If not, check for a report at www.give.org.

6. Check with state charity officials. In many states, charities are required to register, usually with the office of the attorney general, before soliciting. Check http://www.nasconet.org/documents/u-s-charity-offices/ for the relevant office in your state.

7. Don’t assume that every soliciting organization is tax exempt as a charity. You can readily check an organization’s tax status at www.irs.gov/app/eos.

 

 

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