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PNS Daily Newscast - November 24, 2017 


On today’s rundown, all eyes on the G.O.P. tax plan - labor groups say it’s not good for working families, and the view from Michigan is the likely loss of many services across the state; plus, report today on Black Friday and Native American Heritage Day

Daily Newscasts

Irma Spawns Scams

Hurricane Irma hit as a Category 4 storm in Florida, and many Granite Staters want to offer help but are being cautioned to check out a charity before they give. (NOAA)
Hurricane Irma hit as a Category 4 storm in Florida, and many Granite Staters want to offer help but are being cautioned to check out a charity before they give. (NOAA)
September 11, 2017

CONCORD, N.H. – As Floridians struggle to cope with the devastation from Hurricane Irma, Granite Staters are being warned not to fall for scammers who want to prey on people’s desire to help.

It is uncharted territory, two major hurricanes – Harvey and Irma – hitting the United States within the space of two weeks.

Bob Denz, a retired FBI agent and volunteer fraud fighter with AARP New Hampshire, says Granite Staters should act on their impulse to help out, but at the same time they need to be sure they are not falling prey to a fake charity or other scam.

"Don't trust requests that come to you, unsolicited requests,” he warns. “Don't trust them. Stick with a name and reputation that you know, and if you want to check a name, they can be vetted at Charity Navigator or CharityWatch."

Denz adds that while many charity scams come by unsolicited phone calls, they also can happen with randomly blasted text messages, emails and social media posts, as well as with a knock on your front door.

Denz says fraud fighters have learned from experience that fake charities often pop up in the wake of major tragedies, and in the case of hurricanes they can pop up even before the storm actually has done any damage.

"Tragedy strikes, con artists come out of the woodwork,” he cautions. “Very often, they come before the storm makes landfall, such as Superstorm Sandy. A thousand new websites came on for Sandy relief, before it even hit land."

Denz says don't forget these scammers often are looking for personal information such as Social Security and credit card numbers, so he says be doubly sure not to give those to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly.

Safe ways to contribute are to contact the Red Cross at 800-RED CROSS and Salvation Army at 800-SAL-ARMY, as well as the AARP Foundation.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH