Now that pictures of Superstorm Sandy are everywhere the crooks will be out looking to take advantage of your generosity. Be careful of anyone who calls, asking for a donation.
Never give your credit card information to someone who calls you, pressuring you to make an on-the-spot contribution. You should be the one who initiates the call after carefully choosing the charity.
Also beware of emails. Crooks will probably set up bogus sites like they did after Hurricane Katrina. After that storm the FBI reported that 4,000 phony sites were shut down, but not before stealing from well-meaning givers. If you plan to give online, make sure you're on the charity's legitimate site.
Remember not every charity responds to a disaster in the same way. Some can help with medical assistance, others with food, shelter, and water. Some focus on short-term efforts, while others are in it for the long haul.
If you have any questions about where your dollars are going, head to a site like Charity Navigator. It can give you all that vital information. It also outlines their plans to help.
Remember, it's your money. Give wisely.
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