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Jun-02-2008 18:53printcomments

Salem Police Offer Advice on Disaster Donations

This detective says that whenever major disasters happen the scammers come out and try to make a profit on those willing to help.

Woman on phone
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(SALEM, Ore.) - Recently, there have been a number of natural disasters throughout the world, including the earthquake in China and the cyclone in Myanmar.

When these disasters happen, the good people of the world attempt to help the unfortunate victims of these events by donating time, money and goods. Unfortunately, criminals attempt to make another group of victims… the good Samaritans that are willing to donate to relief agencies.

Crooks will impersonate disaster relief agencies, including the Red Cross. They will contact victims by phone, e-mail and in some cases snail mail, asking for donations to help in disaster relief.

It has been reported that the crooks will even offer free vacations for large donations.

Whenever major disasters happen (including Hurricane Katrina) the scammers come out and try to make a profit on those willing to help.

So to keep the help going to those in need, remember these tips:

• Do not give out personal information over the phone to solicitors, including bank account numbers, credit card numbers or personal identification.

• Do not click on links to other websites listed in solicitation emails.

• Relief agencies are asking for money so why would they pay you for a donation? Don’t take the bait.

• When in doubt contact the relief agency directly either via the Internet or phone, sometimes there may even be a field office in your town.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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