The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert Tuesday about possible scams being launched in the wake of the typhoon that devastated the Philippines.
A representative from the IRS, said in a news release, that it's become common practice after major disasters for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers. Such fraudulent schemes might involve contact by telephone, social media, email or in-person solicitations.
To avoid scam artists, the IRS representative says: donate to recognized charities; be wary of charities with names similar to nationally-known organizations; and don't give out personal financial information or donate cash. A contribution by check or credit card provides security and documentation for tax record purposes.
To check a list of legitimate charities, go to the IRS.gov website and search for Exempt Organizations Select Check. A list of legitimate charities can also be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website, which is fema.gov.