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 www.sos.wa.gov/charities 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.
If you are looking for ways to help visit the White House’s website at www.whitehouse.gov/typhoon.
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 www.atg.wa.gov.