As the death toll from Monday’s devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria continues to climb, rescue efforts continue. Meanwhile, the world is watching and many are wondering how to help.
As of this writing, the death toll was over 7,000.
But be careful if you’re making a donation to relief efforts. It is common for scammers to try to make money off disasters by taking advantage of people's generosity.
Beware of emotional appeals and anyone putting pressure on you to give on the spot. Don’t trust anything that you see on social media or online and don’t respond to fundraising efforts that show up in your inbox.
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If you want to give money, choose a registered charity, go to its website, verify that you’re on the correct site and make a donation.
How do you verify a website? The Better Business Bureau recommends looking out for name similarities. Make sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
Review the website carefully – it should include the charity’s mission, programs, goals and achievements.
It is best to donate to a charity directly through a charity’s website and use a credit card for an extra layer of security.
And remember, you don’t have to make a quick decision to donate. These communities will need emergency assistance for a long time to come and victims will have long-term needs
So take your time, do some research and make an informed decision to donate.
Other considerations when how to donate:
An established charity that has existing infrastructure in place can more efficiently and effectively distribute emergency aid.
Big rescue agencies can stretch your monetary donation by buying supplies in massive bulk orders at a lower price.
The Better Business Bureau also recommends donating to charities that meet all 20 of its standards for charity accountability. Visit BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance at www.give.org to access free evaluative reports on charities.