Breaking News
More () »

How con artists could use the Virginia Beach tornado to scam people

Scam artists are known to use natural disasters to take advantage of the vulnerable and the generous.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — In the wake of natural disasters, we often see the best in people.

But scam artists could also use this moment to take advantage of the vulnerable and the generous.

Experts warn to watch out for so-called “charity scams.”

"We very quickly see scammers who do things like charity scams or maybe claim to be someone who lost a lot of money in one of these disasters, but they need your help to get it back and you'll get a cut of it," National Consumers League John Breyault has said in the past. 

The Federal Trade Commission offers the following advice:

  • Donate to charities you know and trust with a proven track record.
  • Avoid charities that seem to have sprung up overnight.
  • Don’t assume charity messages posted on social media are legitimate.
  • And when texting to donate, confirm the number on the charity’s website

Click here to learn more about how to check out a charity before you give.

Click here to file a complaint with the FTC if you think you've spotted a charity scam.

In Virginia Beach, city officials ask people not to visit the hard-hit areas with unsolicited donations. Instead, they plan to release more information soon about how to donate and support the people impacted.

Before You Leave, Check This Out