How to Avoid Superstorm Sandy Scams

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As the East Coast recovers from the historic storm Sandy, charities are busy helping victims and soliciting donations. Unfortunately, a slew of scams often follow major disasters, as well. These six guidelines are for those looking to help financially—without becoming a victim themselves.

Give to familiar organizations. Established nonprofits, such as the American Red Cross, are already well-positioned to start assisting storm victims. In fact, the organization provided shelter for 9,000 people on Tuesday night in 13 different states, and 11,000 people the night before. Charity Navigator, which rates charities, recommends giving to organizations that already have a lot of experience dealing with disasters, so you can trust they have the know-how to put your money to good use. After Hurricane Katrina, dozens of websites claiming to collect money for charities sprang up, but many of them were scams.

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