Currents News Staff
Although charitable giving can be an important part of healing after a national incident, it could with some risks.
This week, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a warning about donation scams in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, telling people to beware of fraudulent emails, social media posts, calls, texts, donation websites, and even door-to-door knocks soliciting donations.
Donating money on the internet is a gamble that comes with a lot of anonymity, and very little accountability.
“You do your best at knowing that hey, there’s gonna be others out there that do things wrong, that do things for the wrong reasons, that are unethical. But when you go in with the right heart in the first place, everything works out,” said Jeff Nene from Convoy of Hope, a faith-based organization which feeds the hungry.
In order to make sure your relief donations following tragic events don’t fall into the wrong hands, the cyber agency recommends taking three actions to avoid donation scams.
The first thing to do is research charities or crowd-funding campaigns yourself, to make sure that it’s clear exactly where your money is going.
“Here’s ample opportunity for hoaxes like that to be conducted and unless a company, organization or even individual does their own due diligence to look into something, they may be subject to it,” explained law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes.
You should also be cautious when it comes to opening email attachments.
Experts recommend that web users not click on links in unsolicited email messages asking for money.
The last precaution is to be wary of fraudulent pleas and donation ads on social networking sites.