CORONAVIRUS: STRONGER TOGETHER

How To Avoid Giving To Scammers During Coronavirus Pandemic

May 12, 2020, 6:14 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – One of the biggest hurdles of giving to people in need during the coronavirus pandemic is making sure your donation goes to those who legitimately need it, while keeping it out of the preying hands of crooks.

How do you make sure your donation is going to the right people?

It is easier than ever to donate to a cause. Remember that you do not have to become a victim.

Here is what to look for according to give.org, a website from the Better Business Bureau.

  • Name similarities — People get scammed all the time when they believe they are giving to a legitimate charity but the name is slightly altered. Make sure you have the exact name. 
  • Brand new charities — Any newly created charity should be suspect – especially those targeting coronavirus relief.  
  • Charity history — Check an organization’s history and make sure it actually has one.
  • Tugging at your emotions — Beware of those emotional stories. Legitimate charities do appeal to our emotions and that is fine. However, scammers, combined with the other concerns, could lure you. Do your due diligence to protect yourself.
  • Evaluations — Before you make any donation, make sure several others can vouch for the effectiveness of the organization.

Resources for checking out a charity include charitynavigator.org, give.org and the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.

Scammers can also be reported at disaster@leo.gov.


Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at consumerprotection@utah.gov.

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How To Avoid Giving To Scammers During Coronavirus Pandemic