Beware of Hurricane Scammers

Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) issues reminder to be wary of hurricane relief charities
660-747-5447 Toll Free 888-515-6565 660-747-3100

Check with the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity
Watch, or GuideStar for information on the charity.

If the solicitor is a paid fundraiser, ask the name of the charity, percentage of donations that will
go to the charity, and how much will go to the cause (such as Hurricane Harvey relief.)

Know the difference between “tax exempt” and “tax deductible.” Tax exempt means the organization
doesn’t have to pay taxes while tax deductible means donors can deduct contributions from
their federal income taxes.

Never send cash or wire money; instead pay by check or credit card.
Be wary of charities that spring up too suddenly in response to disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.
Although they may be well intentioned, they may not have the system in place to help the people
affected.

If you use text to donate, the charge will show up on your cell phone bill.
While the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) concentrates on Medicare fraud and abuse,
the organization wants consumers to be aware of all kinds of scams. Report suspected Medicare
fraud to the Missouri SMP at (888) 515-6565.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90-SP-0025 from the U.S. Administration for
Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201.
Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely
their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent
official ACL policy

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