As Dane County starts to clean up after a flood, the rest of the state should be on the lookout for phony charities.
Those scammers often pose as legitimate organizations like the Salvation Army or the Red Cross, and use high pressure sales to try and get you to donate right there, in cash.
Madison College marketing professor Steve Noll says any legitimate charity that’s asking for money should be happy to let you do some research and donate later.
“If it’s real, they’re going to be happy about that, they’ll be perfectly fine. But if someone’s at the door is pressuring out, saying you need the money now, that should set off a red flag right there.”
You should also be wary of phony online fundraisers or Go Fund Me accounts and make sure that the money is actually going to its intended recipient.
People looking for help cleaning out after that flood should also be wary of random ads for assistance or service that you see on social media. Scammers are able to use tools to specifically target people in flooded areas, says Noll.
“Especially people who’ve had damaged property, are probably freaking out and desperate, and they’re willing to turn to anyone who could quickly help them.”
If you’re looking for repairs or cleanup after a disaster, stick with local companies that you can trust, and don’t fall for high pressure sales from door to door repair crews.