DETROIT (WWJ) – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is warning residents to beware of scams in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The AG on Tuesday urged citizens to exercise caution as scammers choose times of disaster to take advantage of hard-working, well-meaning people.
Specifically, Shuette said, citizens should be wary of unfamiliar organizations or people soliciting money on social media to help those suffering due to historic flooding in Houston.
“Hurricane Harvey has inflicted disastrous results on the state of Texas and we are thinking of all the individuals affected by the storm,” said Schuette. “It is important to remember that while storms like this can bring out the best in people, it can also bring out scammers who see a disaster as nothing more than an opportunity to make a quick buck. I encourage Michigan residents to protect themselves from post disaster scams.”
Schuette said fake charities and those selling flood-damaged vehicles are two of the top scams following any natural disaster.
He shared the following tips:
- Be cautious of requests for donations by unfamiliar organizations or people.
- Beware of unsolicited contacts and appeals on social media sites. Some leading relief charities now accept donations via cell phone, but unsolicited text messages, like unsolicited telephone and email communications, should be viewed with suspicion and handled with caution.
- Crowd-funding and other types of internet-giving can be tools of tremendous good, but as with any type of giving it can be abused, so proceed with caution when donating online.
- Continue to reach out and help, but choose established charitable organizations with a history of helping those in need. [DONATE SAFELY HERE]
The Attorney General’s website has additional information and advice on charitable giving. Citizens may call the Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Section at 517-373-1152 to check on a specific charity.