Scam Alert: The horror of the devastating typhoon in the Philippines is beyond belief. Unfortunately, tragedies like this bring out creeps who want to take advantage of our instinct to help by launching scam charities. It happened after Superstorm Sandy, after the Haiti earthquake, even after the Sandy Hook school slaughter.
Yes, absolutely send money to charities supplying relief to the Philippines. But do it wisely.
The FBI warns about phony emails asking for money, which also could contain malicious virus programs or link to phishing websites that steal your identity.
ecoXplorer warns you to be extra careful of fake charities whose name sounds oh, so close to a legitimate one.
Give to well-known charities, or to your local religious group. If in doubt, check Charity Navigator, a non-profit watchdog site that rates charities for their honesty, reliability and perfomance.
These charities are legitimate — and need your donations — and all have the four-star top rating from Charity Navigator —
- American Red Cross
- Doctors Without Borders, whose three hospitals in Haiti were destroyed, and many of their doctors are feared lost in the collapsed buildings
- World Vision
- Water Missions, which provides drinkable water for poor communities around the world
Give, but give wisely.