Call fraud hotline for flooding scams
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver said Friday that a fraud hotline and email account have been established in anticipation of scams arising from the flooding on Colorado’s Front Range.
The National Center for Disaster Fraud has a telephone line staffed 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, and can be reached at 866-720-5721.
“Unfortunately, there are some who prey on the vulnerable or desperate,” said John Walsh, United States Attorney for Colorado, in a release. “Before giving money to an organization, do your research to ensure it is a legitimate relief agency.”
Federal prosecutors offered these tips:
■ Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming emails, and do not click on links contained within those messages.
■ Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via email or social networking sites.
■ Beware of organizations with copycat names similar to, but not exactly the same as those of reputable charities.
■ Be cautious of emails claiming to show pictures of the disaster area in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Open only attachments from known senders.
■ Toward ensuring contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make donations directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
■ Do not give personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions.
■ Legitimate charities do not normally solicit donations via money transfer services. Most legitimate charities maintain websites ending in .org rather than .com.