Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Relief Donations Urged, Caution Advised

Governor Rendell is urging Pennsylvania residents to contribute to Haitian relief efforts. Rendell is challenging Pennsylvanians to donate to the Red Cross, or to text the word HAITI to the number 90999.
That automatically adds ten dollars to your phone bill, and the money goes to relief efforts.

"What Haiti needs right now is cash. Cash that relief organizations can turn into product immediately. So I’d urge all Pennsylvanians to consider contributing."

Attorney General Tom Corbett is urging people to be careful when making donations. Corbett spokesman Nils Frederiksen says scammers often take advantage of massive relief efforts, and try to con people into donating to fake charities.

"Watch out for spam emails that may include links, photos, files – other things that you’re either supposed to go to or open up. Unfortunately some of them may contain viruses, or some of the links may actually take you to websites that aren’t really legitimate.warning scam artists often take advantage of major disasters in order to con people into contributing money to fake charities."

Frederiksen says it’s important to research the operation to which you are donating.
One way to do that is to see whether it’s registered on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s list of legitimate charities.

Meantime, the Pennsylvania National Guard doesn’t have any plans to assist in relief efforts yet, but Rendell says he’s asked Major General Jessica Wright to monitor requests for help.

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