Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

May 22, 2013

Are persons collecting for tornado relief legit?

The Herald-Tribune

— Hoosiers should be aware of people taking the opportunity in light of the recent catastrophic events in Oklahoma to prey on the generosity of those willing to help out monetarily.

Sgt. Noel Houze, Indiana State Police Versailles District public information officer, said, “Citizens are cautioned to be skeptical of those going from door to door or making individual phone calls to residents claiming to be collecting for tornado relief. If you are contacted by someone asking for donations, ask questions to determine whether or not your contribution will actually go to the tornado relief efforts.

“Ask the person collecting for credentials, what organization they represent, if there is an address donations can be sent, etc. Ask the person if they have a business card with a Web site or other information that can be verified through other reliable sources such as the Better Business Bureau or the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.

“If you are approached and feel someone is trying to scam you, try to get as much information as possible, such as a name, description of the person, description of the vehicle including color, make and license number if possible, then contact local police, the sheriff, or nearest Indiana State Police Post.”

He advised, “The best way to contribute to the relief efforts is to donate money and other needed articles through known legitimate organizations,” such as the American Red Cross or local churches.