A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Saturday morning, Aug. 14. The earthquake killed more than 1,900 people and upended the lives of nearly 1.2 million Haitian citizens—both numbers are expected to increase in the coming days.
On Wednesday, state Attorney General Ashley Moody warned Floridians wishing to provide financial support to be on the lookout for fake charities that may pretend to aid in the recovery efforts.
“It is harrowing to hear the news reports of the devastation that our neighbors in Haiti are currently enduring. With the aftermath of Tropical Storm Grace wreaking havoc on Haitians, some efforts to recover from the earthquake are being stalled. I encourage generous Floridians to help provide support; but watch out for fake charities trying to exploit the tragedy to steal money,” Moody said.
International tragedies can attract scammers who create fake charities posing as organizations dedicated to helping the afflicted. The money raised could go straight into the pockets of scammers instead of helping those in need.
Floridians eager to help with the recovery efforts in Haiti should follow these tips before donating:
Ensure that a charity is registered by searching Charity Navigator or sticking to established, well-known organizations;
Carefully check the charity’s name and review how contributions will be used;
Do not provide banking or other personal information to unsolicited callers or in emails on behalf of a charity; and
Be wary of crowdfunding campaigns created by unknown individuals.
Floridians can report charity scams to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.