As people step forward to contribute to the relief and recovery efforts from the Oso landslide, state officials and the Better Business Bureau are sending out a warning to be wary of scam-artists who want to take advantage.
Here are some things to remember:
- KING 5 has a long history of partnering with the Red Cross to support the community. You can donate to Northwest Response at any U.S. Bank branch, or donate online.
- Be suspicious of solicitors requesting immediate donations. Don't rush decisions and consider contributing at give.org, a website run by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
- Make sure that charities are qualified to provide the type of disaster relief that is necessary.
- Avoid cash donations. Write a check directly to the charity, not the fundraiser.
- Never give out credit card numbers over the phone.
- Be wary of "new" charities with unverifiable background information.
- Watch out for solicitations from fake "victim" or memorial social media accounts.
- Don't be fooled by a name. Be watchful of charities that use sympathetic sounding names or names similar to well-known legitimate charities.
- The Better Business Bureau, the Washington Attorney General and Secretary of State advise consumers to contact potential charities directly. For more information on finding charities, visit BBB's charity review or the Secretary of State's Charity Lookup. Consumers can also visit the Secretary of State web site for tips on giving wisely.