How to avoid scams when trying to give to Hurricane Ida victims

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ST. LOUIS – Various St. Louis groups are heading to or are already in Louisianna following the devastation left behind by Hurricane Ida. Many others are also looking for ways to help those in need by sending money, but some websites that pose as reputable organizations are really scams.

If you are thinking about giving, make certain your donation is going to a real nonprofit that is able to deliver aid to those affected by Hurricane Ida. One way to make sure is to check out the charity through the Better Business Bureau.

Chris Thetford with the BBB said to be wary of charities that claim 100 percent of the donations go to assisting victims. All charities have fundraising costs. Also, be cautious when giving online, a website may look legitimate, but after recent natural disasters, many websites and organizations were created overnight, allegedly to help victims and they turn out to be scams.

Thetford also warns of crowdfunding.

He also said it’s important to find out if the charity is providing direct aid or if they are raising money for other groups.

Also, keep in mind, gifts of clothing, food, or other “in-kind” donations may not be appropriate and could be more of a burden than a help. Ask the charity about their transportation and distribution needs and be concerned about those not experienced in refugee relief.

 Finally, the BBB said to give but give wisely.

Click here for the BBB’s list of accredited charities.

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