‘Know where your money is going:’ Beware of scams to help Hurricane Florence charities

MILWAUKEE -- As Hurricane Florence approaches, people are trying in every way to help. Some will be volunteering, most will be opening up their wallets. However, those looking to donate should watch out for scams.

In times of disaster, people want to give but not every charity is legitimate. There are certain things people need to look out for so they don't get scammed.

It's expected to be an intense storm, leaving a path of destruction with the aftermath. There are a slew of people wanting to help.

"We stay there and we just serve, we don't leave until the work is done," said Major Tim Meyer, Salvation Army.

Major Tim Meyer is second in command with the Salvation Army Wisconsin and Upper Michigan division.

While no one from the area has left to help with Hurricane Florence relief yet, they may be soon.

In order for them to be on the ground, some of the most important help comes in other ways.

"While we all would like to help with something physical, the first primary need is financial," said Meyer.

Organizations like the Salvation Army and American Red Cross are go-to charities in disaster, but there are others that may be trying to take advantage.

"Make sure you know where your money is going," said BBB Wisconsin President Jim Temmer. "You have to be able to give your money, but on your terms."

BBB Wisconsin President Jim Temmer says there are certain things to look out for.

"If someone's really putting the pressure on you to donate, it's a red flag," said Temmer.

Temmer says always ask for charity information and tax deductibility and be weary of ways to give money.

"If they're asked for cash, or wire transfer or anything like that, another red flag," said Temmer.

The Salvation Army says 100 percent of donations designed for disaster -- go there. Allowing them to continue to focus on what's important.

"We do what we do in the Lord's name and we try to make the dollar stretch as long as we can," Meyer said.

One of the simplest things you can do to make sure the charity is legitimate, Google reviews, problems and complaints and use website like Give.org, GuideStar.org, and Charity Navigator.

If you'd like to give to the Salvation Army for Florence relief, CLICK HERE.