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Thursday, November 14, 2013

How You Can Give Safely to Typhoon Haiyan Charities

Warnings of charity scams related to Typhoon Haiyan are already making the rounds. That’s because scam artists are notorious for using the latest headlines to try and steal your money. Here are tips on how can give wisely to charities and help prevent fraud.

Before You Give:
  • Verify Unsolicited Donation Requests
    You are likely to receive donation requests through Facebook, Twitter, email, and even phone calls. Some of these are legit, some are not. Before giving, do your research. Make sure the charity is registered with the Washington State Secretary of State by visiting or calling (800) 332-GIVE.
  • Be Cautious When Clicking Links in Email, Facebook, and Twitter
    If you receive a link in an email, Facebook post, or Twitter post asking you to donate, be careful when clicking the link. Fraudulent links can be designed to install viruses or take you to an official looking website designed to steal your money.

    Make sure the message and link is authentic before clicking on it. Better yet, visit the organization’s website or Facebook page directly instead of clicking the link contained in an email, Facebook, or Twitter post.
  • Donate Only to the Official Website
    If you decide to donate to a charity, make sure that you are donating to the official website. A little research can protect you from a scam, as fraudsters have been known to set up fake websites. Again, instead of clicking links, visit the official website directly.
  • Give Over the Phone with Caution
    You should also be on guard when receiving requests via the phone. Again, scammers can spoof the phone number that comes in via caller id to look official. If you are interested in donating via phone, say you will call the official organization phone number listed on the organizations website and then hang up.
Ways to Help
If you are looking for ways to help visit the White House’s website at

File a Complaint
If you have a complaint against a charity or would like to report fraud, contact the Washington State Office of the Attorney General at