The tragic earthquake in Haiti is moving many of us to help out by donating money. Unfortunately, scams are already circulating on the internet attempting to divert some that cash money to cybercriminals instead of those who need it.
For instance one scam, mimics the British Red Cross appeal for donations, starting off with a description of the disaster and the fact “thousands of people there are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.”
Before making your donation, take precautions to evaluate a charity. Here are some tips:
• Don’t assume the links your well-meaning friends are sending you are legitimate or represent the best organizations.
• Check the database of registered charities on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website. Registered charities are authorized to issue donation receipts for income tax purposes. Contact the charity to confirm that they do provide official donation receipts to donors. Cheques should be made out to an organization, not an individual.
• Call the charity or look on their website to see how your donation will be used.
• Ask for supporting literature on the charity’s past missions to learn more about the charity.
• Some experts recommend that you stay away from charities you haven’t heard of. Just keep in mind some scammers may be trying to masquerade as legitimate organizations.