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How to safely donate to Hurricane Harvey victims

How to safely donate to Hurricane Harvey victims
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Hurricane Harvey is the first Category 4 hurricane to strike the U.S. coast since Hurricane Charley back in 2004. The storm made landfall along the Texas coast on Friday, August 25, and has since dropped more than 48 inches of rainwater.

The resulting floods have left millions of residents in Houston and surrounding areas in a desperate situation. Rising water levels are forcing residents to evacuate their homes, and even be rescued from their rooftops. Sadly, 13 deaths have been reported as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

In times like these, we all want to help. And one of the most effective ways to help is to send money to the charities that have people on the ground. But, unfortunately, scammers also see this as an opportunity to trick good people out of their money.

This hurts everyone. Not only do the donors lose their cash, the money never makes it to the victims. That's why we recently warned you about five Hurricane Harvey scams you need to watch out for.

Where to donate

As the devastation continues to grow, more and more help will be needed. That's why it's good so many people want to pitch in. But where can you donate without fearing the worst?

First, let's start by warning you about where you shouldn't donate. Crowdsourcing sites, such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter, are not reliable places to send relief funds. It's difficult to verify which campaigns are legitimate and which are just running off with all of the donations. Stay away from them!

Facebook is another place you should avoid at this time. Scammers will try to tug at your heartstrings by sharing pictures and using stories about victims who need help. But clicking any links they provide may lead you into a hoax or phishing scam. Click here to see five fake Hurricane Harvey photos spreading on social media right now.

So, who can you trust? A site called Charity Navigator really comes in handy at a time like this.

It works by vetting charities for authenticity and providing a top 10 list. For Hurricane Harvey, Charity Navigator is recommending the following organizations:

There are more charities listed as options, but these are the top 10. To see the full list, click the button below. And don't forget to share this article with everyone you know, that way your friends and family members won't send their money where it ends up in the wrong hands.

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