HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – After a natural disaster like the earthquake in Nepal, you might be moved to donate.
But Pennsylvania officials are warning residents to be aware of some unfortunate scams related to the recent quake.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane urged residents to use the following guidelines when deciding whether or not to donate:
-Be cautious if you’re planning to give to a charity created specifically in response to this disaster
-Donate to a charity that has a proven history of dealing with large-scale disaster relief
-Be wary of messages relating to charity that are posted on social media, and do your own research to confirm the legitimacy of such organizations
-If you get a text or email request to donate, confirm it is from the actual charity by contacting their office or visiting their website
-Beware of look-alike websites because scammers sometimes set up sites that mirror those of legitimate charities
Anyone who believes they’ve been victimized by a scammer can file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General by calling the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555.
If you’d like to help, here is a list of reputable organizations to donate to:
1. Save the Children has been in Nepal since 1976 and is dispatching medical teams and distributing clean drinking water, hats and blankets to people and babies living outside during the aftershocks. Ten percent of donations are going to future disaster preparation.
2. Red Cross has committed $300,000 in aid and 19,000 non-food relief kits.
4. Friends Service Council Nepal is a local non-profit organization with more than 20 years experience supporting disaster relief efforts in that region. They are based in Kathmandu and they have been giving money, food and tents to people in need. To make a direct donation to a local charity in Nepal, you can go through their website at FSCNepal.org.
5. Oxfam works in more than 90 countries and has already dispatched a team to assess needs in Tibet, where the quake also struck. They are preparing to help provide clean water and emergency food to the needy.
6. Goonj is an Indian relief agency with 11 offices and more than 300 employees. They have set up Nepal-specific donation centers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Rishikesh. They are readying relief supplies to be delivered by truck and air. To make a donation, go to goonj.org.