When disaster strikes, many people feel moved to help their fellow citizens – either by physically pitching in to help with cleanup or by donating to various charities that can help distribute needed resources.
Unfortunately, there are opportunists who see these circumstances as fertile ground for making a quick buck by exploiting peoples’ goodwill and charity.
In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the IRS reminds the public to be wary of potential scams swirling around that aim to take advantage of people’s generosity.
Fraudulent schemes normally start with unsolicited contact by telephone, social media, email or in-person. Their tactics often involve impersonating charities in hopes of getting their victims to turn over money or private information. This can be done through telephone calls, bogus websites or by personal solicitation.
The IRS reports that some scammers have been known to claim to be working on behalf of the IRS to ostensibly help victims file casualty loss claims and to get tax refunds.
Remember, do not give or send cash. Always contribute by check or credit card so you have a record of the donation. As always, never give out personal financial information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card or bank account numbers to anyone who solicits a contribution.