Florida’s Attorney General warns of charity scams targeting Haiti relief efforts

International tragedies can attract scammers, Attorney General Ashley Moody says

A woman is helped by a man to cross a flooded street during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is heading for a possible hit on the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, along with Tropical Storm Marco. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery) (Dieu Nalio Chery, The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s Attorney General is warning about how to help Haiti, saying though well-intentioned, a donation could end up in the wrong hands.

Dozens of organizations and individuals are coordinating relief efforts for Haiti after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake rocked the island. The violent tremors killed more than 1,900 people with another 1.2 million lives now in flux as they deal with the aftermath. These numbers are expected to grow as officials search for the missing and work to rebuild.

[HELP FOR HAITI: Where to donate goods, supplies here in Central Florida]

With a large Haitian population in Florida, there have large-scale efforts to provide support for the Caribbean nation. Attorney General Ashley Moody is now warning Floridians to be wary of fake charities that may be posing as a group aiding in recovery efforts.

“With the aftermath of Tropical Storm Grace wreaking havoc on Haitians, some efforts to recover from the earthquake are being stalled. I encourage generous Floridians to help provide support; but watch out for fake charities trying to exploit the tragedy to steal money,” Moody said.

[TRENDING: Daytona officer dies after June shooting | See Spaceship Earth in new light | When’s next rocket launch in Fla.?]

The Attorney General’s office said international tragedies can attract thieves creating fake charities to make quick cash.

Floridians eager to help with the recovery efforts in Haiti should follow these tips provided by the office before donating:

  • Ensure that a charity is registered by searching Charity Navigator or sticking to established, well-known organizations
  • Carefully check the charity’s name and review how contributions will be used
  • Do not provide banking or other personal information to unsolicited callers or in emails on behalf of a charity
  • Be wary of crowdfunding campaigns created by unknown individuals

Floridians can report charity scams to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.