Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the tornado that swept the town of Moore, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2013. Just over a month after the Boston marathon bombings, people all around the nation watched as one of the worst tornadoes in history ravaged Oklahoma. Entire buildings and homes are reduced to a bleak landscape of scraps while forlorn residents scramble about piled up debris, looking for loved ones and what’s left of the lives they knew. Such images of the devastation tug at the heartstrings and the goodhearted readily give up hard-earned dollars, hoping that their monetary contributions will go a long way into the rescue and relief of victims.
Unfortunately, times like these can also bring out the worst in some. According to Oklahoma’s Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt, the first scams after a disaster are usually charity scams. The IRS warns that fraudulent schemes can occur through phone solicitations, social media, email or even in-person.
3VR has rounded up this guide to ensure that you get your donations to the right charities and protect yourself from scam artists.
Give Your Money to Trusted Charities
Is A Charity Legit? Check It Out:
- Call Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at 1-703-276-0100 or visit www.give.org.
- Use the Exempt Organizations Select Check tool at the IRS website to find organizations that are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable donations. Or, call 1-877-829-5500.
- Find legitimate charities on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.
Avoid Being A Victim of Charity Scam. Quick Tips:
Other Ways to Help:
- Tweet your support by using the trending hashtag #PrayforOklahoma
- Spread the word in your preferred social networks
Photo from Red Cross Oklahoma