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Typhoon relief efforts, how to avoid scams
By: Ruben Veloz
EL PASO, Texas-- If you plan to donate to relief efforts in the Philippines you may want to be careful.
This is the time when scammers start popping out preying for your money.
"For those people who really do scam people it sucks or it's horrible," said Central El Pasoan Reymundo Luna.
Luna tells FKOX14 he's very careful about donating money.
After typhoon Haiyan destroyed parts of the Philippines, many people have started sending in aid.
Luna says he's careful every time he makes a donation.
"It doesn't hurt to go online even to the library to just check. You don't want your money going to somewhere you are not supposed to," said Luna.
The Better Business Bureau website says this is the time when scammers take advantage of people's generosity, but there are several things you can do to avoid being a victim.
The BBB has a search engine where you can go to find out if an organization is trustworthy.
It allows you to look up a name, email, and even a phone number of the charity asking for money.
"Basically, small charities we don't really donate because we don't know where they are coming from," said Reyna.
Reyna tells KFOX14 she rarely donates to charity because she's afraid of being scammed.
"People want to help other people, so they try to see the good so most people don't do their research but they should," said Reyna.
The BBB's website says you should also be careful when donating online.
Many websites claim to be real-but sometimes are fake.
You should also check to see if an organization has a direct presence in the area, like the Red Cross.
Some charities raise money for other groups so you want to be sure the money is going to the affected places.
"That's probably why people don't donate as much as they should because of scammers that are scamming a lot of people," said Luna.
If you want to help you can make an automatic $10 donation to the red cross by texting the words "RedCross" to 90999, or by going online.
For a list of trusted organizations seeking help visit FOX News online.