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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beware of bogus online 'help' for Haiti - Don't Get Scammed Being Charitable

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Security- msnbc.com: "The urge to help — and to give money — is powerful following a devastating event like Haiti's earthquake, and one of the easiest ways to do it is online. It's also one of the easiest ways to get scammed if you're not sure what you're doing or who you're dealing with  continued

If you're thinking about using one of these new "text to charity" deals to be with the "in crowd" think about this too, your donation won't become available until your phone bill is paid and that could end up being 90 days before the money is released.

I would bet that if more people knew about this they would think twice I'm sure, when they can also go straight to the Red Cross OR the Salvation Army, both linked here as you see and also at the top of my right sidebar....and the best thing about that is your money gets there today.

Granted, if a cell is the only way for you to do it then God bless you and go ahead, but I did one online with Red Cross and Salvation Army, both took 5 minutes and I was able to determine exactly where the money will be spent, which is good too.

You don't want your money being spent elsewhere until the present need is fulfilled which was a large problem with the Red Cross and 911 where only a quarter of the huge sum was used as intended.

However, in my mind the number one lesson and no no in any online transactions is to never access a credit card, bank link or paypal page to give money through an email link ever, to anywhere, anytime, EVER EVER.

Always go to the individual  bank, credit card or charity's home page and go from there to avoid page spoofing, and always make sure through each page of your transaction you see an encryption lock in the right hand of the status bar, which is located directly above your clock on the taskbar that indicates to us that a secure page to pay will be used.

This is pictured in Internet explorer below, but the lock is in the same position in Firefox and Safari as well.

Those are just a  few quick little tips to take note of from this heavily experienced internet professional and thorough internet junkie who makes his living, banks with 5 different banks, buys everything paying every single bill I have online, and have for years due to wheelchair bound disability for some of them.

and have never been scammed once.

For some more tips you can read this little piece below and here is a list of every major US charity and links to their pages to keep for future or present reference compiled by the Better Business Bureau.
  • Ignore unsolicited e-mails, and do not click on links within those messages.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
  • Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files, because the files may contain computer viruses. Open attachments only from know senders.
  • Decline to give personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions.
Make contributions directly to known organizations, rather than relying on others who claim in e-mails that they will channel the donation to established groups


The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. H. L. Mencken

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