Within hours of the explosions in Boston, insult to injury, a fake Twitter post claimed to be from the marathon organizers.
It read: "For every retweet we will donate $1.00 for the BostonMarathon victims."
Twitter followers noticed the account was not verified and demanded it be taken down.
"Anytime there's opportunity for folks to take advantage of others unfortunately it does surface," said Chris Steed the head of United Way of the Piedmont.
He says bogus charities tend to pop up after tragic events. In fact, web experts have found dozens of 1-day-old sites where domain names have words like relief and victims fund.
Steed warns, there's no telling where that money goes.
"We see organizations and individuals that will generate URL sites, they'll post on Facebook and Twitter opportunities for people to make contributions and very often that's not, the intent of the money is not going where the donor would particularly like to see it go," said Steed.
Internet experts don't know the intention of all the websites that have popped up after the explosion. They do know historically even if they're not trying to get donations, many are just trying to make money by getting high traffic.
"I think it's important for people not to be discouraged and that feeling that we have that desire that we have to be charitable to give to help our fellow man when they're in need is a good thing, and with a few just very simple steps, an individual can make contributions with some confidence," said Steed.
- Step one, give to established charities
- Check to make sure the charity is registered with the state
- To donate to charities in SC contact the SC Treasurers office:
- To donate to charities in Boston contact the Attorney Generals office
- And make sure the organization is listed with the IRS as 501c3 status
Victims and the organizations supporting them need your help. Just make sure before you take out your wallet you know who is on the receiving end.
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