Haiti Earthquake – Beware of scams


Scams galore!

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.

Haiti Earthquake Text Message Scam and Fraud - Haiti Earthquake - Beware of scams

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.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010 9:38 am

jsut saw on the news that The Better Business Bureau has said not to donate to Yele.

Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:47 am

I have pledged 10% of my sales until sunday to go towards Haitian relief, did good today for Haiti!! I got an email this morning from furnituremustg0.com that I was cc’d on on purpose that basically my giving efforts was a scam? Who would say such a horrible thing?

Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:14 am

Looks like Yele Haiti (one of the text message campaigns in the main article) has some shadiness going on. It was featured on Smoking Gun earlier today:


Friday, January 15, 2010 11:04 am

Habitat for Humanity has been in Haiti for 26 years, and also is a great organization helping the victims in Haiti. Since the catastrophic Indian Ocean Tsunami, Habitat has built, repaired and renovated more than 22,500 permanent houses and has learned a great deal about rebuilding after disasters. Donations can be made at https://www.habitat.org/cd/giving/donate.aspx?link=227

Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:38 pm

Ganache, hooray for you!

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