Albany County Sheriff warns of Harvey charity scams

 Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple | Photo: File.

August 31, 2017 08:45 AM

ALBANY -- Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple is warning Capital Region residents to watch out for Hurricane Harvey charity scams.

Apple says fake Facebook pages and fraudulent charity websites have been set up asking for donations to Hurricane Harvey relief funds to help those impacted by the recent flooding in Texas.
“These cyber criminals are exploiting this disaster by using fake social media accounts and websites. Whenever a natural disaster strikes, many of us ask, how can we help? Giving to help those impacted is good, but it’s important to donate to a legitimate charity that has experience getting help to those affected quickly,” Apple said.
Apple offers the following pointers to avoid being fooled by charity scams:

** If you would like to make a donation, go to the website of the charity of your choice and make a donation. Do not click on any links in emails or texts that you might receive.

** Donate to charities you know and trust. Beware of charities that seem to have appeared overnight in connection with current events.

** If you receive a telephone call asking for a donation, inquire if the caller is a paid fundraiser, who they work for, and what percentage of your donation goes to the charity and to the fundraiser. If you do not get a clear answer - or if you do not like the answer you get - consider donating to a different organization.

** Do not give out personal or financial information - including your credit card or bank account number - unless you know, the charity is reputable, and never give that information over the phone.

** Never send cash: you cannot be sure the organization will receive your donation, and you will not have a record for tax purposes.

** Research charities through the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance website.

To report suspected charity fraud in Albany County, contact the Albany County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit at (518) 765-2351.

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