Mercer Island Reporter


Be careful when donating to disaster victims

November 29, 2013 · Updated 1:49 PM

The Internal Revenue Service today issued a consumer alert about possible scams taking place in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. On Nov. 8, Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines, bringing strong winds and heavy rains that have resulted in flooding, landslides, and widespread damage.

Following major disasters, it is common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers.

To help, only donate to recognized charities.

• Be wary of charities or websites with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations.

Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations.

Legitimate charities be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website at fema.gov.

• Don’t give out personal financial information — such as Social Security numbers or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords — to anyone who solicits a contribution from you.

•Don’t give or send cash.

More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at IRS.gov using the keywords “scams and schemes.”


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