Donations for Nepal: Make your money count

Disasters serve as “World Series for con people”

By Stephanie Carson
Public News Service – NC

RALEIGH — With the death toll in Nepal’s earthquake projected to climb to as many as 10,000 people, North Carolinians are looking for ways they can help. At the same time, organizations such as the Better Business Bureau say scammers are looking for ways to take advantage of generosity.

Spokesperson and president Toby Barfield says the bureau’s “give.org” website has information on charities that provide aid to victims, and it’s worth checking, especially after a disaster of this magnitude.

Humanitarian aid and equipment are arriving in Kathmandu daily. The Better Business Bureau and others are advising people how they can make sure their money gets to the victims.  Photo credit: UK Department for International Development/Wikimedia Commons.

Humanitarian aid and equipment are arriving in Kathmandu daily. The Better Business Bureau and others are advising people how they can make sure their money gets to the victims.
Photo credit: UK Department for International Development/Wikimedia Commons.

“This is the World Series for con people, they are out in droves,” says Barfield. “Telephone, door-to-door, email, you name it. They’ll use every trick in the book.”

In addition to people falsely claiming to represent charities, Barfield says a relatively new problem is people posting photos and videos on social media to gain access to your computer. It’s called “click-baiting” and encourages you to click a link that will then let scammers download spyware onto your P.C.

Reports from Nepal indicate aid is slow in getting to the remote villages. Barfield says identifying a reputable charity that accepts donations is one way to make sure your money is spent wisely.

“Cash is the right way to do it, and that’s what the Red Cross typically does with their relief work is they’ll collect the money and then they’ll go to the site of the disaster and they’ll buy clothing and food and that helps to regenerate the local economy,” he says.

If you do want to donate to relief efforts, it’s recommended you research not only the organization’s reputation, but also it’s specific presence in Nepal. Unlike other regions impacted by natural disasters, some areas of Nepal are rural and difficult to navigate.

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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