SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Unfortunately, criminals can exploit disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey, for their own gain.
Before making a donation of any kind, customers should comply to certain guidelines, including:
- Don't respond to any spam e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages, because they may contain computer viruses.
- Be skeptical of people representing themselves as members of charitable organizations or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
- Beware of organizations with names that are similar, but not exactly the same as those of reputable charities.
- Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses.
- Make donations yourself, rather than relying on others to make them on your behalf.
- Don't get pressured into making contributions, reputable charities don't use pressuring tactics.
- Be aware of whom you are dealing with when providing you personal and financial information.
- Avoid cash donations if possible, pay by credit card or write a check directly to the charity. Don't make checks payable to individuals.
- Legitimate charities do no normally solicit donations via money transfer services. Most legitimate charities' websites end in .org rather than .com