If you feel compelled to donate to the victims of the deadly Oklahoma tornadoes, make sure you know where your money is going. That advice comes from the Indiana State Police, who warn that scammers will inevitably try to take advantage of people’s generosity for personal gain. Citizens are cautioned to be skeptical of those going from door-to-door or making telephone calls to residents claiming to be be collecting funds for tornado relief.
If you are contacted by someone asking for donations, ask questions to determine whether or not your contribution will actually go to the tornado relief efforts. Ask the person collecting for credentials, what organization they represent amd if there is an address donations can be sent. Also ask for a business card with a website or other information that can be verified through reliable sources like the Better Business Bureau or Attorney General’s Office. If a person is collecting for a legitimate charity, he or she will be happy to provide such information. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured or bullied into donating to a cause until you have had time to thoroughly check it out for yourself. If you are approached and feel someone is trying to scam you try to get as much information as possible such as a name, description of the person, description of the vehicle including color, make, and license number if possible then contact local police, sheriff, or your nearest Indiana State Police Post.
The best way to contribute to the relief efforts is to donate money and other needed articles through known legitimate organizations such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army or through local churches collecting for tornado relief. Be aware, be vigilant, and don’t get scammed.