Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Avoid donation scams
In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, email scams which solicit the wiring of money to stranded victims in the Philippines are surfacing. Willing donors should give cautiously over the next few weeks.
Unfortunately scammers look to exploit our compassion for helping others during disasters.
Donors, take proactive steps to avoid being ripped-off by questionable solicitors or wasting money on poorly-managed relief efforts.

Don’t donate based on names. Avoid organizations that include the name of the storm or disaster—as they may have just been founded and have little experience or are simply trying to take advantage of highly-visible news coverage.

Avoid donating the wrong goods or products.  Sending non-essential items could be a wasted effort and slow down the relief process; be sure to verify which items are needed and the specific distribution plans that are in place. Some organizations may only accept clothing and goods from locations close to the disaster zone to avoid freight costs.

Steer clear of inexperienced relief efforts. Inexperienced charities will likely hamper assistance and divert funds from other helpful organizations.

Research before donating. Before responding to emails or social media posts soliciting money, check out organizations to verify accountability standards.
Good intentions aren’t enough to carry out relief activities effectively; charities should be transparent, accountable and well-managed.
For tips on how to make sure donations reach the intended relief effort visit:
-Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance’s
Standards for Charity Accountability;
-Attorney General’s Office
Consumer Issues Charities page; and
-Secretary of State’s
Give Wisely page.



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