In times of need be aware of scams

Nov. 14, 2013 @ 03:34 AM

People in western North Carolina are a giving people.

They have proven time and time again their willingness to give of their time and of food and other supplies to people in need.

It's a quality difficult to find around the country in this time of economic hardship, but we pride ourselves on that giving spirit whether at home or abroad.

There is a need arisen from the deadly Typhoon Haiyan which has caused countless millions of dollars in damage and left millions of Filipino people dead, injured or homeless.

The United States and other nations have already sent ships and aircraft to help with search and rescue operations as well as fly in emergency supplies.

Be assured, the people of western North Carolina will be there to help as well.

Whether it be to donate clothes, food and supplies or to provide monetary assistance to those left devastated in the southeast Pacific nation.

While the response from the region will provide some kind of positive in an otherwise disastrous situation, we have to be conscious of those that will attempt to take advantage of others in need and the willingness and generosity of people willing to help.

We caution those generous people to be wary of calls to action. Unsavory people and groups will attempt to scam you out of your compassion.

If something seems awry, do due diligence. If it doesn't feel right, make sure to check into a charity asking for assistance. You can call the North Carolina Attorney General's office at (877) 5NO-SCAM, or (877) 566-7226. You can also register complaints online at ncdoj.gov.

Be on the look out for solicitations via social networks, emails and text messages that come from out of the blue and any requests for cash or bank account information.

Additionally, you can go to www.give.org, www.charitywatch.org, www.guidestar.org or www.charitynavigator.org to check on a prospective charity asking for assistance.

One of the best ways to check the legitimacy of a charity is through the Internal Revenue Service's website at IRS.gov. Another resource is the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website at www.fema.org.

While we hate to think people try to take advantage of the generous spirit of the great people of western North Carolina, there are.

They are looking to only benefit themselves and use your hospitality to do so.

We hope for recovery to the people of the Philippines and, for those who reach out to help those impacted by the devastation, we thank you for making our area special and one we are proud to call "small town friendly."

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board

 

The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Alex Moore, Tom Padgett and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark