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How to Safely Donate to Disaster Relief

Dept. of Defense photo of U.S. military members helping Japanese citizens clean up a park in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami.

Many places are taking donations to help the disaster relief efforts in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami that took place on March 11. As donations to help the victims flow in, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) warns that con-artists are quick to try and scam generous givers.

Here are some tips from the IC3 to help you avoid becoming a scam victim:

  • Check to see if the charity is legitimate by visiting their website directly. Don’t use any questionable links you may have been sent.
  • Verify that the charity of your choice is a non-profit organization that will use your donation to help the cause.
  • Do not give out your personal or financial information to anyone soliciting contributions, or you could become a victim of identity theft. 

More tips for safe donating.

If you are looking to donate to the disaster relief efforts going on in Japan, use the tools recommended by the Federal Trade Commission to research your charity of choice.

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