Scam alert: beware of Haiti relief charity frauds. The images of the devastation in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew are beyond belief. Once again, we warn you about fraudulent charities and the creeps and con artists all too ready to take advantage of your willingness to help.
We haven’t heard of any Haiti relief charity frauds – yet – like the ones that popped up after the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. But here’s what to watch out for to signal a charity scam – and it’s not just Haiti charity frauds, but also scams to raise money for flood victims, tornado victims, forest fire victims in the USA.:
Links on Google posing as Haitian charities are really links to malicious software sites that may steal your identity or turn your computer into a robot for sending spam.
CBS News reported fake charities began popping up on Craigslist within hours after the 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday, January 12th.
The FBI warns about phony emails asking for money, which also could contain malicious virus programs or link to phishing websites.
And I am warning you to be careful of fake charities whose name sounds oh, so close to a legitimate one.
- Check the ecoXplorer page of Scam Alerts for advice on avoiding identity theft, romance scams and more.
Humanitarian groups need money for emergency relief supplies, including clean drinking water to prevent another outbreak of cholera, such as the one that killed so many Haitians after the earthquake.
Give only 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 —
- Doctors Without Borders, which has been on the ground in Haiti since before the 2010 Earthquake.
- World Vision
- American Red Cross
- Hope for Haiti
- Water Missions, which provides drinkable water for poor communities around the world
photo courtesy CNN