Don’t get scammed when donating money after a disaster

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DENVER -- Whenever a major disaster happens like the tornadoes in Oklahoma, people want to help by donating money.

The FBI has several tips to keep in mind before making a charitable donation following a disaster:

  • Do not respond to unsolicited (SPAM) e-mail.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as officials soliciting via email for donations.
  • Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited email.
  • Be cautious of email claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
  • Validate the legitimacy of the organization by directly accessing the recognized charity or aid organization's website rather than following an alleged link to the site.
  • Attempt to verify the legitimacy of the non-profit status of the organization by using various Internet-based resources, which also may assist in confirming the actual existence of the organization.
  • Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions; providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.

For more information on charitable contribution schemes and other types of online schemes, visit LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com.

If you think you have been a victim of a charity related scheme , call the National Center for Disaster Fraud 866-720-5721. Report suspicious email solicitations or fraudulent websites to Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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