Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina coast Friday morning, and social media feeds will be filled with opportunities to donate to hurricane relief. However, the donations raise concerns of possible looming scams.
There are some ways to ensure donations will be safe.
A popular fundraising site, GoFundMe, released information Thursday for anyone wanting to donate to those impacted by Hurricane Florence. There is a central location for all verified GoFundMe campaigns here.
According to the site, the centralized hub gives people reassurance their donation will reach the intended recipient.
"If a campaign organizer has a direct, personal connection to the beneficiary, then in some instances, the campaign organizer may withdraw the funds to provide directly to the beneficiary," according to GoFundMe.
The site said if questions arise, GoFundMe will have its team hold funds in order to verify the funds go into the right hands.
As of Friday afternoon, there were 570 search results on the website for Hurricane Florence.
The searches range from donating to disaster relief task forces, animals stranded and home repairs.
Additional campaign sites for the hurricane are Charity Navigator, the National Voluntary, Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross.
The Better Business Bureau said it also verifies account but the best thing to do is do your homework by:
- Asking for written information about the charity's or organization's programs and finances
- Don't feel pressured to give on the spot
- Determine if you're using a secure website (secure sites' addresses begin with https://)
- Ask key questions such as what portion of the purchase price will benefit the charity; what is the duration of the campaign
- And to check out the charity at bbb.org or by calling 573-886-8965
Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm Friday afternoon.