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Give to Real Typhoon Relief, Not to Scams

Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the Philippines, and many people are eager to contribute money to help with recovery efforts. Unfortunately, some past catastrophes spawned scams that collected money that never reached the victims, and similar scams are likely following Typhoon Haiyan.

Attorney General Roy Cooper encourages North Carolinians to give generously to relief efforts but to watch for charity scams. If you come across a potential scam, report it to us by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at

To make sure your donations go to legitimate charities instead of to scammers:

Don’t respond to out-of-the-blue emails, text messages or social media posts asking you to donate. Even if the message looks like it comes from a legitimate charity, it could be a trick and include links to a copycat website. If you want to donate, contact the charity directly at a website or phone number you know to be valid.

Watch out for pushy telemarketers who refuse to answer your questions, offer to pick up your donation or pressure you for a credit card number. Also, some telemarketers keep up to 90 percent of the money they give to charities. Your money will go further if you give directly to the organization, not to hired fundraisers.

Don’t give cash. Cash can be lost or stolen. For security and tax record purposes, it’s best to pay by credit card. If you pay by check, make it out to the charity, not the fundraiser.

Protect your personal information. Never give your credit card or bank account number to someone you don’t know who contacts you, and don’t share personal financial information by email or text message.

Instead of responding to appeals, decide who you want to give your donation to.  Our tips can help you learn how to check out a charity before you give.