How to avoid getting scammed through Hurricane Sally donations

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Donations are pouring in from all over to assist those affected by Hurricane Sally, but scammers are making yet another move to take from those in need.

“We have seen in the past couple of days Facebook posts asking people for money for GoFundMe accounts that weren’t there three or four days ago,” said Monde Donaldson with the Better Business Bureau.

Yet another bold move from scammers.

“The one I just looked at today said, ‘just send us your money. We’ll have a committee and we’ll decide where it’s going to go,” said Donaldson.

Preying on vulnerable hearts to get what they want, your money.

“People are emotional, they’re vulnerable, they are overwhelmed, and they are desperate for help and they are also desperate to help those in need. It’s a little of both,” Donaldson said.

Donaldson said scammers are hiding behind fancy charitable names and social media to lure people in.

“It’s an organization that had no fundraising experience, and they’re just saying we’ll have a committee, we thought it was a good idea. That’s not going to work for a legitimate fundraiser. I would always suggest the American Red Cross, particularly in a case like this where they are known for disaster relief,” said Donaldson.

“Times like these bring out the best in people, and they also bring out some of the worst in people,” said Leslie Schraeder, Marketing Specialist in Labor Liaison with United Way.

Schraeder said working with crisis year-round, they have seen their share of scammers, but knowing the red flags beforehand can help you avoid these kinds of problems.

“Reputable organizations are going to have websites. They’re going to have tax information available. They are going to be able to be verified through the Chamber of Commerce, the BBB. It takes a couple of minutes to do verification but it’s worth it,” Schraeder said.

And Thursday, as we host our telethon, Donaldson said this is a great start to send your donations to the right place.

“What WKRG is doing is what this community needs,” Donaldson said.

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