FBI Columbia warns of charity scams in the wake of severe weather in the Southeast

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– FBI Columbia warns of charity scams in the wake of last week’s deadly tornadoes.

Officials say these scams can happen at any time, but tend to increase following natural disasters. To avoid these types of scams, the FBI suggests only donating to charities you are familiar with and trust.

The FBI also provides the following tips to avoid becoming a victim to scammers:

  • Be cautious of organizations with copycat names or names similar to well-known
  • Be wary of new organizations that claim to aid victims of recent high-profile
  • Do your research. Use the Federal Trade Commission’s resources to review the
    track record of a charity.
  • Consider donating using a check or credit card. If a charity or organization asks
    you to donate through cash, gift card, virtual currency, or wire transfer, there is a
    good chance it is a scam.
  • Practice good cyber routines:
    • Do not click links or open email attachments from someone you do not
    • Manually type out links instead of clicking on them.
    • Do not provide any personal information in response to an email, robocall,
      or robotext.
    • Check the website’s address—most legitimate charity organization
      websites use .org, not .com.

If you are a victim of charity fraud, officials say you can report it in several ways, including, the State Department of Consumer Affairs, tips.fbi.gov, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the Federal Trade Commision and the National Center for Disaster Fraud.

Categories: Local News, Richland