Watch out for charity scams in the wake of recent natural disasters

Published 10:00 pm Friday, September 2, 2016

From flooding in Louisiana to the earthquake in Italy, we’re seeing many scenes of human suffering due to natural disasters and wondering how to help. Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall is urging North Carolinians to make their generosity count by giving wisely.

“The giving public in North Carolina is always generous when we see people whose homes and lives have been devastated by disaster,” Secretary Marshall said on Tuesday. “Please remember that with a little homework we can all make sure our charitable dollar does the maximum good for people in need. Sadly, natural disasters do draw out scam charities hoping to prey on the public’s goodwill. These fakes not only steal from the people making contributions, they rob disaster victims of vitally needed resources.”

Secretary Marshall advises people to consider looking up the websites of established charities with resources in the affected region and giving to them directly rather than responding to high pressure solicitations received through social media, texts, or email.

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The Secretary of State’s Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division encourages everyone to visit the charities section of to check out groups soliciting you for donations and make sure they are legitimate charities. Charity Navigator also has a list of charities assisting relief efforts in Louisiana and Italy.

– article submitted by Liz Proctor