It is unfortunate that during a time of a disaster scam artists seem to come crawling out of the woodwork. But, it has happened in the past and probably will continue to happen. There are a lot of great charity organizations that are responsible for helping people rebuild their lives and their homes. But, how do you know what defines a fraudulent charity? I know many people don't want to falsely accuse an organization of misdirecting funds. That is why I am publishing some red flag tips below!
1. If a charity or organization approaches you, and you have never heard of them, decline the request to donate money (especially cash) until you can research and verify the outlet. The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children are well-respected organizations and fulfill immediate needs, like clean water, medical supplies, food, shelter, etc. You can donate to one of these organizations before researching, and deciding, on giving to the the lesser known entity in questions.
2. Sustaining commitment in the long-term to impacted communities after a tragedy or crisis is a real struggle. If you are looking to help before a disaster strikes, or are approached by an organization long after a disaster has occurred, chances are funds to sustain related programs truly are needed. Again, this is where asking questions or putting off saying "yes"comes in until further research can be done.
3. Trust your gut. If something doesn't seem right, just say "I'll think about it." Disaster giving shouldn't make you feel unsure or uncomfortable.