Don’t get scammed helping Haiti

Ha it i need s help bad ly as the country tries to reover from the devastating earthquake.

Many Texans will give generously to charitable organizations to help as much as they can, helping people they do not know, nor will they ever meet.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office warns that you should examine a few things before you open your wallets and purses.

Did you make the initial contact or were you solicited by email or telephone?

Find out how the funds will be used. Watch for companies that have sound-alike names or look-alike logos.

Ask questions Be blunt. Demand to see identifications and ask for telephone numbers of the home office.

Call the home office and verify that the person claiming to represent the business actually works there.

Do not succumb to high-pressure tactics that tend to force you to make decisions immediately.

Never give personal data to the solicitor. Don’t give cash.

It is best to write a check and ask for a receipt.

Never make the check out to an individual.

Put the name of the charity on the check.

If you are suspicious, contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (703)276-0100 or go online at

You can also find information about specific relief efforts, presently in effect, by going to the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP).

This is a watchdog ser vice established to assists donors in giving safely.

If you have received an e-mail or if you have been contacted to contribute and you think the offer is bogus.

Call the Texas Attorney General’s complaint department’s hotline 1-800-252-8011. You may also use the website www.texasattorneygeneral. gov.

You have to be proud of the USA for the way our country has responded to this tragedy.

The United States Coast Guard were the first to respond. “Semper Paratus is its motto and it means “always ready.”

The reason the USCG is able to respond so quickly is because that is what it does.

This is a beautiful story about giving aid to those facing pain physically, emotionally and financially.

It is horrible to think of scam artists, standing in the wings, ready to strike a victim at his lowest point.

Milam County TRIAD encourages people to do good for others, but with deliberate caution.

You have the information you need. Follow your heart.

It is always right.

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2010-01-28 digital edition

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