Just like in past natural disasters, scam artists are taking advantage of disaster attention for their own personal gain.
Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington encourages consumers to look out for these scams which are circulating in the United States:
Cons use well-known names and logos from businesses or charities, to try to gather funds by phone or email. Instead, contact the local charity office or visit their well-known and trusted website. Check out charities at www.bbb.org.
In other situations, new charities spring up overnight. Some may be legitimate, but make sure they have the resources to actually get relief to disaster areas. Others are scam fly-by-night charities just out to make money off the generosity of others before disappearing.
Cons Using Headlines:
Some Facebook users have found out that sometimes clicking on links claiming to have video footage of the disaster, actually led them to a page that asked for personal information. It triggered an automatic "like" of the page so friends would also want to click on it. Other examples have occurred during past disasters, where headlines came up on search engine results leading to sites that asked for personal information or downloaded malicious software to computers. BBB suggests, hovering over links, without clicking on them, to make sure the website is recognized.
Visit BBB.org for tips on providing disaster relief donations and giving via text message.