Scammers Emerge After Devastating Typhoon Haiyan

The scammers are at it again. With every horrific natural disaster, comes a despicable scammer who thinks they can make a quick buck off of the generosity of others. As the public’s attention and hearts are focused on the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, scammers are sending out fake messages claiming to be a victim of the disaster.

How the Scam Works:

Scam emails come in all shapes and sizes, but the message plea is always the same. The sender pulls at your heart strings and urges you to take action and help them get out of a dire situation. Most recently, Better Business Bureau has been made aware of the following fraudulent email pleading for assistance from the devastating typhoon.

“Good Day,

Sorry for any inconvenience, but I’m in a terrible situation right now. I came down here to Manila Philippines for a program before the Typhoon happened which left me with almost nothing! My wallet and other valuables were stolen off last night by unknown thugs, leaving my passport and life safe. My luggage is still in custody of the hotel management pending when I make payment on outstanding bills I owe. I contacted my bank (E-mail) for a wire transfer but it has proven almost Impossible to operate my account from here as they made me understand international transactions take 7 working days to be effective I have also been to the police and embassy here, but they aren’t helping issues, which i can’t wait. I need you to help me with a loan to pay my hotel bills and get my self home. I will reimburse you soon as I get back Home. I will appreciate whatever you can assist me with. Let me know if you can be of help.

All hopes on you.”

BBB Wise Giving Alliance has seen charity scams following all recent natural disasters and manmade tragedies, and encourages donors to balance their generosity with thoughtfulness and research. “Try to avoid making emotional giving decisions,” says H. Art Taylor, President and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, “The first request for a donation may not be the best choice. Check with the BBB to help avoid questionable fundraising efforts.”

Click here for a full list of donating mistakes to avoid.

For More Information

Visit give.org for a full list of Charity Reports. To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.

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About Kelsey Owen

Kelsey Owen is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the Council of Better Business Bureaus based out of Arlington, VA. Kelsey graduated from Denison University with a degree in economics and communication and is currently pursuing a master's degree in media entrepreneurship.