Beware scammers who are looking to profit off of the Hurricane Dorian disaster

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A man talks on his mobile phone next to a catamaran that was thrown onshore by the Hurricane Dorian near highway close Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday Sept. 3, 2019. Relief officials reported scenes of utter ruin in parts of the Bahamas and rushed to deal with an unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, the most powerful storm on record ever to hit the islands. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Imagine going home to a pile of rubble where your home used to be. That is the reality for many when they return home from their Hurricane Dorian evacuation.

While everyone mourns in the lost, it is also a time when communities want to help. But sometimes the best intentions can be twisted by scammers looking to profit.

With a variety of crowdfunding options and money transferring apps, it is especially important to dig a little deeper to understand where your contribution is going. BBB Wise Giving Alliance urges donors to give thoughtfully and avoid those seeking to take advantage of the generosity of others.

Thoughtful Giving: The first request for a donation may not be the best choice. Be proactive and find trusted charities that are providing assistance. Checking Give.org is a great way to check a charity’s rating and credibility.

Crowdfunding: Keep in mind that some crowdfunding sites do very little vetting of individuals who decide to post for assistance after a tragedy or a disaster, and it is often difficult for donors to verify the trustworthiness of crowdfunding requests for support.

How Will Donations Be Used?: Watch out for vague appeals that don’t identify the intended use of funds. See if the appeal identifies when the collected funds will be used.

Be cautious about gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations. In-kind drives for food and clothing, while well-intentioned, may not be the quickest way to help those in need – unless the organization has the staff and infrastructure to hand out such aid properly. Donated goods may impose extra costs on a charity to cover storage and distribution, and may not meet the most urgent needs.

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