Valley residents warned about charity scams in time for Hurrican - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Valley residents warned about charity scams in time for Hurricane Florence

Posted: Updated:
NEWTON FALLS, Ohio -

It's no secret that a natural disaster can bring out the most generous of instancts in some people- and there are always scammers ready to take advantage of those instincts. 

With Hurricane Florence predicted to cause "catastrophic" damage, the Federal Trade Commission and Valley police are already warning community members to "give wisely". 

The Newton Falls Police Department took to social media Wednesday to share the warning. 

The post reads, in part, "If you are making a donation for hurricane relief, remember to give enough thought to where exactly you are sending your money. Because scammers are hoping that generous people like you, in your eagerness to help, won't do your homework so they can steal that money." 

The FTC provides several tips for staying safe and making sure your donations actually go to help:

Do some research online

  • Looking for a charity to support? Search for a cause you care about – like "hurricane relief" or "homeless kids" – and phrases like "best charity" or "highly rated charity."
  • When you consider giving to a specific charity, search its name plus "complaint," "review," "rating," or "scam."

Be careful how you pay

  • If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don't do it. That's how scammers ask you to pay.
  • To be safer, pay by credit card or check.
  • It's a good practice to keep a record of all donations. And review your statements closely to make sure you're only charged the amount you agreed to donate – and that you're not signed up to make a recurring donation.
  • Before clicking on a link to donate online, make sure you know who is receiving your donation. Read Donating Through an Online Giving Portal for more information.


Keep scammers' tricks in mind

  • Don't let anyone rush you into making a donation. That's something scammers do.
  • Some scammers try to trick you into paying them by thanking you for a donation that you never made.
  • Scammers can change caller ID to make a call look like it's from a local area code.
  • Some scammers use names that sound a lot like the names of real charities. This is one reason it pays to do some research before giving.
  • Scammers make lots of vague and sentimental claims but give no specifics about how your donation will be used.
  • Bogus organizations may claim that your donation is tax-deductible when it is not.
  • Guaranteeing sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a donation is not only a scam, it's illegal.

If you see any red flags, or if you're not sure about how a charity will use your donation, consider giving to a different charity. There are many worthy organizations who will use your donation wisely.

The Federal Trade Commission also recommends checking one of several databases that provides information on reputable charities: 

The IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search tells you if your donation would be tax deductible.

Report scams to FTC.gov/complaint.

Find your state charity regulator at nasconet.org and report to them, too. Share any information you have – like the name of the organization or fundraiser, phone number, and what the fundraiser said.
 

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Car drives through Youngstown Dollar General, one injured

    Car drives through Youngstown Dollar General, one injured

    Monday, February 18 2019 5:31 PM EST2019-02-18 22:31:12 GMT

    A car has driven through a Youngstown Dollar General closing the business for the rest of the day.  Just after 3:30 pm on Monday afternoon a driver ran off the road and into the Dollar General on Belmont Avenue.  Police say that there is one person who was injured in the crash and there transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown.  Police are currently investigating the accident.  This is a developing story stay with 21 News and make sure to download th...

    More >>

    A car has driven through a Youngstown Dollar General closing the business for the rest of the day.  Just after 3:30 pm on Monday afternoon a driver ran off the road and into the Dollar General on Belmont Avenue.  Police say that there is one person who was injured in the crash and there transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown.  Police are currently investigating the accident.  This is a developing story stay with 21 News and make sure to download th...

    More >>
  • Tim Hortons announces several Mahoning Valley locations

    Tim Hortons announces several Mahoning Valley locations

    Monday, February 18 2019 4:33 PM EST2019-02-18 21:33:06 GMT

    Tim Hortons has announced that it will open up several Mahoning Valley locations by the end of 2019.  

    More >>

    Tim Hortons has announced that it will open up several Mahoning Valley locations by the end of 2019.  

    More >>
  • Youngstown church receives new addition

    Youngstown church receives new addition

    Monday, February 18 2019 4:32 PM EST2019-02-18 21:32:20 GMT

    The Youngstown Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown at Wick Park will receive a new addition to the church on Monday.  

    More >>

    The Youngstown Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown at Wick Park will receive a new addition to the church on Monday.  

    More >>
  • Ohio/PennsylvaniaMore>>

  • Ballpark mustard maker drops Indians' Chief Wahoo logo

    Ballpark mustard maker drops Indians' Chief Wahoo logo

    Sunday, February 17 2019 3:11 PM EST2019-02-17 20:11:12 GMT
    The maker of Cleveland's ballpark mustard is removing the Chief Wahoo logo from its branding and packaging to maintain longstanding ties with the Cleveland Indians baseball team.      Cleveland.com reports the Indians have told official partners like Bertman Foods Co., the maker of Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard, those relationships can't continue unless they stop using Chief Wahoo. The caricature is widely seen as racist and offensive to Native Americans.  &nbs...More >>
    The maker of Cleveland's ballpark mustard is removing the Chief Wahoo logo from its branding and packaging to maintain longstanding ties with the Cleveland Indians baseball team.      Cleveland.com reports the Indians have told official partners like Bertman Foods Co., the maker of Bertman Original Ballpark Mustard, those relationships can't continue unless they stop using Chief Wahoo. The caricature is widely seen as racist and offensive to Native Americans.  &nbs...More >>
  • Ohio lawmakers studying error that could ban some guns

    Ohio lawmakers studying error that could ban some guns

    Sunday, February 17 2019 3:07 PM EST2019-02-17 20:07:15 GMT
    Gun rights advocates say a mistake in an Ohio bill could inadvertently ban several types of legal guns and must be fixed.      At issue is legislation approved by lawmakers last year that allows off-duty police officers to carry firearms and phases in pre-emption of many local firearms restrictions, among other changes.      Gun advocates say a misplaced paragraph in the bill unintentionally lumped a variety of long guns into a prohibited category. They s...More >>
    Gun rights advocates say a mistake in an Ohio bill could inadvertently ban several types of legal guns and must be fixed.      At issue is legislation approved by lawmakers last year that allows off-duty police officers to carry firearms and phases in pre-emption of many local firearms restrictions, among other changes.      Gun advocates say a misplaced paragraph in the bill unintentionally lumped a variety of long guns into a prohibited category. They s...More >>
  • Candy company exec who mass-produced Peeps gets his own day

    Candy company exec who mass-produced Peeps gets his own day

    Friday, February 15 2019 7:52 PM EST2019-02-16 00:52:33 GMT
    With prime Peeps season about to get underway, the Pennsylvania city where they're "born" is honoring the man who brought marshmallow chicks to the masses.      The Morning Call reports that Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez proclaimed Friday as "Bob Born Day" in a ceremony at company offices.      Born, now 94, joined his father's candy business in 1946 and figured out a way to automate production of Peeps, which had been made by hand. T...More >>
    With prime Peeps season about to get underway, the Pennsylvania city where they're "born" is honoring the man who brought marshmallow chicks to the masses.      The Morning Call reports that Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez proclaimed Friday as "Bob Born Day" in a ceremony at company offices.      Born, now 94, joined his father's candy business in 1946 and figured out a way to automate production of Peeps, which had been made by hand. T...More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms