Haiti Earthquake – Beware of scams
I’m sure you all know about the massive earthquake devastation over in Haiti – the poorest country in the western hemisphere. If their luck couldn’t get any worse – now they have to deal with widespread destruction and thousands of feared fatalities.
Of course, no disaster is complete without the scammers looking to take advantage of generous donors. Almost immediately after the quake, all sorts of messages were popping up online (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) – with many different text message short codes to “donate” $10 or $5 for the cause. Many of which were NOT trustworthy. Beware!
If you’re the type that is OK with donating digitally – the two that are (currently) legitimate are:
- Texting HAITI to 90999: This service was set up by the U.S. State Department. Texting “HAITI” to the number will donate $10 to the American Red Cross, and will appear as a charge on your wireless bill.
- Texting YELE to 501501: This will donate $5 to Yele Haiti, a non-profit organization founded by singer and Haiti native Wyclef Jean. A donation to Yele will also appear as a charge on your cell bill. You can also donate larger amounts at Yele’s website.
Besides sending SMS messages – there are other ways you can help – and you can see a comprehensive list of them here.