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Want to help Hurricane Harvey victims? Send a check, officials say

Want to help Hurricane Harvey victims? Send a check, officials say

The Federal Trade Commission has information for people who want to help Hurricane Harvey victims, and for those who are dealing with and recovering from, its long-term effects.

Unfortunately, scammers set up immediately after such a disaster.

Criminals often send emails that steer recipients to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate charitable causes.

If the organization is a newer organization and doesn't have very much documentation to back up how they spend their donations, Spence said it's a risk the donor has to take.

Fraud isn't the only issue. A charity will be happy to take your donation today, tomorrow, or next week.

Your donations should go to established organizations that are prepared for large-scale disasters. According to Forbes, after Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross asked the FBI to investigate at least 15 fake websites looking for donations.

The US Coast Guard, though, urged people to call 911 or the command centre if they were in trouble. Delete the email, research the organization and contact them. "It is wise to research the charity first before donating, and consumers should avoid any charity or fundraiser that is reluctant to give information on how donations are used".

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- If a tax deduction is important to you, make sure the organization has a tax-deductible status with the Internal Revenue Service.

Before giving, check out the charity at kscharitycheck.org to assess whether it is registered to solicit in Kansas. Again, stay away from links in emails. Don't be a victim when it comes to disaster relief charities. Suggestions from the department include giving to charities you know about and being aware of "pop up" charities that include the name of the storm.

Give a monetary donation, not supplies.

"So many websites up there right now that we've been seeing", said Ward. From there, you can decide the legitimacy and whether or not you want to move forward.

"As we move forward, I'm sure these organizations are going to continue needing support", Chief Ward explains.

Dow is also matching employee and retiree donations up to $100,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Texas, with one of the largest downpours in USA history, starting as a Category 4 hurricane over the weekend.

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