The Better Business Bureau wants you to be aware scammers are pretending to accept donations for hurricane relief with Hurricane Florence on the way. The BBB says they've sadly seen this time and time again, when a weather related disaster strikes, so do scammers.
"One of the things that scammers do is in general that they play on our emotions and this is of course a perfect time to do just that very successfully," Elizabeth Garcia said, the President of the BBB in North Alabama. She says when it comes to charity scams, nobody is safe.
"Well generally relating to disasters, they will target everybody," Garcia said.
With Hurricane Florence impacting people throughout the east coast, Garcia wants people to be aware of who they are donating money to, because far too often, the money you could be donating won't go toward anything at all. Shanice Zeigler says she plans to donate to the relief efforts.
"You gotta put yourself in the same situation if it was just your family or something like that and you lost everything you would want someone to help you as well," Ziegler said.
She says scammers try and get to her online.
"Most of the time it will be on social media, so they have pop-ups or they try to send a friend request."
The BBB wants people to keep these things in mind when looking to make a donation: Be aware of emails, text messages, phone calls, and social media posts. They recommend you do not click on any of the links they provide in emails or websites. The BBB also recommends if you choose to donate, pick a well-established organization and if a company starts to use any strong-arm tactics or becomes aggressive, they are most likely a scammer.
Zeigler says she'll be smart about who she gives her money to and wants everyone to do the same.
"You actually have to do your background history when it comes to stuff like that."
For more information on how to avoid scammers you can visit the BBB Scam Tips page here: https://www.bbb.org/scamtips/