FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS)– With millions in Florida left with damaged or destroyed property, many organizations will be raising money to help. But it’s important to know the difference between donating to a legitimate organization and getting scammed.
Phone scammers know that people will want to try to help hurricane victims, and they will take advantage of you.
Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley said never give your information to people who are aggressively asking for your money
“Scammers like to pressure you,” said Sheriff Fridley. “Saying, ‘Hey, we need help immediately,’ We know how bad the hurricane was in Florida and these other areas so they’re going to try to pressure you to act immediately. Don’t do that.”
Fridley also added if the person you’re on the phone with starts asking you to send money via PayPal, Venmo, gift cards, or another payment service, that’s your cue to hang up the phone.
“They also tell you to pay a certain way, ‘We need a credit card,’ or ‘send money through this money transfer,’ Don’t do that,” said Fridley.
Sheriff Fridley said the best way to be sure your money is going where you want it to go, is to look up a charitable organization’s phone number and call them directly.
Don’t give your money or personal information to someone who calls you. If you receive a call asking for donations, you should hang up, and call the organization they claim to be from directly to be sure you’re not getting scammed.
“If you want to make a donation you call that organization and say, ‘Hey, I’m Mike Fridley, I’d like to make a donation for hurricane relief in Florida,” the Sheriff told 59News.
We encourage you to donate and help the millions of people devastated by Hurricane Ian, but it’s important to be safe with your money and personal information when doing so.