The state Attorney General's Office says to beware of scam artists who use natural disasters like Harvey to take advantage of the good intentions of others.
By doing a little research, well-meaning Texans can ensure their dollars actually go to a legitimate charity or organization providing victim and community support, rather than funding fraudulent scams set up to capitalize on a disaster.”
The AG's Office explains how to guard against fake charities and other donation scams:
--Be cautious of requests for donations by unfamiliar organizations or people, especially anyone calling and asking for donations by credit card or requesting personal information.
--When donating money, consider directing your help to a recognized disaster-relief charity, such as the Dell Foundation’s collaboration with the OneStar Foundation for the Rebuild Texas Fund at www.rebuildtx.org.
--Research the charity before you donate money by using Charity Navigator at www.charitynavigator.org and the resources provided by the Office of the Texas Attorney General at https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/disaster-scams.
Don’t fall for high-pressure tactics and demands for an immediate donation. A legitimate charity welcomes background checks on their operations.
Avoid charities or fundraisers that refuse to provide detailed information about their identity, mission, costs or how your donation will be used.
If you suspect you’ve been targeted by a fraudulent charity or donation scam, file a complaint online with the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s office at texasattorneygeneral.gov/apps/charitable-trusts-complaint-form/.