Whether you’re a victim of a disaster or just trying to help, there’s often someone looking to take advantage. Some scammers will use fake websites and emails to collect donations for their own personal gain. Others send emails that contain viruses, or requests to pay advance fees in exchange for larger insurance settlements. Numerous disaster relief scams emerged in the days following Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami, and the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Protect Yourself From Disaster Fraud
Research the charity
Check the authenticity of the organization through Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau before sending money.
Don't be pressured
Refuse high-pressure appeals. Legitimate fundraisers won’t push you to give on the spot.
Be suspicious of cash donations
Always be suspicious of solicitors who say they can only accept a cash donation.
Report suspicious solicitors
If solicitors refuse to identify themselves, report them to law enforcement officials.
Have You Witnessed This Scam?
If you’ve been affected by a disaster scam and the U.S. Mail® has been used in any way, we want to help. Please report the crime.Report Now