September 14, 2018 3:57 pm

Beware of Hurricane Florence charity scams, officials warn

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North Carolina police are warning of charity scams related to Hurricane Florence relief efforts as the Category 1 hurricane makes landfall in the state and the U.S. east coast.

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New Bern, N.C., police department tweeted to be “mindful of scammers,” with a link to a government information page.

The government page gives various tips to avoid scammers, such as to refer to a list of reputable charities that are approved by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at It also advises not responding to unsolicited emails, watching out for pushy telemarketers and looking out for fake charities that sound real by using similar names.

READ MORE: How to donate to Hurricane Harvey victims (and avoid a scam)

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The Federal Trade Commission also has tips for how to spot scammers, such as if they refuse to share their mission or explain how the donation will be used, if they use high-pressure tactics like trying to get you to donate immediately, or if they ask for donations in cash.

Fundraising sites such as GoFundMe should be looked at with caution since individual campaigns may not be vetted.

Charity Navigator is a reputable source for highly rated charities specific to Hurricane Florence.

WATCH: Hurricane Florence: Americans captivated by live stream of tattered American flag

Charity scams during times of distress have happened before. The Better Business Bureau warned of illegitimate fundraising pages related to the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that killed 16 in Saskatchewan, and scams were reported after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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