Scammers look for opportunity as Americans look to help Harvey victimsi

Any natural disaster brings out scammers who prey on the kindness of those looking to help.

Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath are no different.

But there are resources people can use to make sure the charities they are supporting are legitimate.

Before you donate to a charity, make sure you know where your aid is going. TheCenter for International Disaster Information recommends checking with a charity monitoring organization like GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or the Better Business Bureau before donating.

Make sure your donation is secure by going through an organization's official website or sending a check in the mail. Charity Navigator says you should never donate over the phone, email or unknown social media pages, as these are easier for scammers to target.

The Center for International Disaster Information says many Americans respond to disasters by collecting food, clothing and household items for people in need. However, these donations require transportation and are not the most efficient way to help people in need. The center suggests people donate monetarily to relief agencies. The Better Business Bureau warns people to be aware of the charities they are donating to.

“BBB reminds donors to make sure they’re donating to real non-profits who are able to deliver aid where it’s needed," Michelle L. Corey, St. Louis BBB president and CEO said. "Publicity about disasters often is used by scammers to solicit money that never reaches those who need it.”

For more go to WKOW: 

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