Watch out for scams when donating to Harvey relief

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- So many people feel helpless and want to assist the people of Houston, Texas however they can in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, but this is also the time when scammers prey on generosity.

Attorney General Curtis Hill released tips Monday to make sure your money is really going toward relief efforts in Houston.

"Anyone who wants to donate and provide any sort of supplies or money should do that through a reputable disaster relief or other organizations, one that you've heard of before," said Betsy Isenberg with the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division.

Traditionally, scammers have used natural disasters as a way to get in your wallet when your heart wants to help, so here are a few red flags to look out for.

"You shouldn't respond to individuals who are coming door to door asking you for funds to then donate that to hurricane relief or if you're getting calls from individuals on the phone you shouldn't necessarily respond to those by giving out your personal information like your bank account number or your debit card number," said Isenberg.

Also, be careful clicking on email links or pop ups soliciting donations. Well-known organizations like the Salvation Army, United Way and the American Red Cross have text and phone lines available, and you can follow your money.

"Any time you donate online at red cross dot org you are able to designate where you want the money to go and everything right now is really focused on Harvey, so your money will stay to help the people impacted by the Harvey disaster goods or money," said Red Cross Representative Duchess Adjei.

Right now, the big push is for financial donations because goods will have a hard time reaching families.

You can  help those affected by visiting redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Other reputable donation sites include:

If you believe you've been scammed in Indiana you can submit a complaint here or call 1-800-382-5516.

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