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Feds Warn About Sandy Scams

Relief is coming into the East Coast for victims of Hurricane Sandy, but scammers continue to be a problem as well.Officials tell ABC 17 News there are many charities and organizations being flooded with people coming in to donate and help people affected on the East Coast. Federal officials say that’s the safest way to do it. However, from scammers going door-to-door to scammers trying to get to you through e-mails, there are several things to look out for.These days, the aftermath of natural disasters include shots of destruction, despair, and dramatic rescues. It also includes scams. Federal authorities say you should always ask questions when someone approaches you asking you to give money. Legitimate, well-known organizations like the Red Cross don’t come to you.”We don’t solicit funds,” Mike Flanagan with the Red Cross said. “We don’t have people going out door to door to ask people for funds.”Flanagan tells us if someone does knock on your door saying they’re with the local chapter, the best thing you can do is to not hand over any money and notify the police.But going door-to-door is not the only thing authorities are warning about. You should be on the lookout for fake charities, e-mails, spam, or people calling you to donate over the phone. Red Cross officials tell us they would never call you out of the blue unless you have a history of donating with them. They just want to make sure the money you give actually goes toward helping victims restart their lives.”We provide shelter for people, money goes towards the shelters, we provide clean-up kits, mops, brooms, gloves and things like that,” Flanagan explained.The Attorney General’s office tells us there haven’t been any reports of scams in the state just yet, but if you believe there is a scam to give them a call.

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