What's Trending: protecting yourself from disaster scams
Superstorm Sandy has a lot of people cleaning up in her wake, and it's not just debris. That's why this cautionary tale about disaster scams is what's trending.
When images from Hurricane Sandy fill our television sets, it's hard not to want to pitch in. But before you open your heart and your wallet, beware of opportunistic criminals preying on your emotions. Here are a few simple precautions you can take to protect yourself:
2) The American Red Cross is the largest charitable group providing relief to those affected by the storm. You can donate to them online, over the phone, or via text message, but never give cash.
3) Be very cautious whenever you are contacted by charities. Some scammers set up phony charities or send emails asking for donations, promising you they will go directly to the victims. Things to watch out for include misspellings and typos in those messages.
4) Most websites for legitimate charities end in .org, not .com. A good rule of thumb is to avoid simply giving money blindly to everyone.
Thoughts and prayers are great, but it will take big money to rebuild the homes and lives that Sandy destroyed. Use these tips to help make sure every dollar gets to the people who need it most.
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