SC Secretary of State warns consumers about scams revolving arou - FOX Carolina 21

SC Secretary of State warns consumers about scams revolving around Hurricane Harvey

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Flooding in TX. Flooding in TX.

The South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond said South Carolinians are among the most generous when it comes to donating during times of tragedy and the Red Cross said they're very grateful.

"It's devastating," Lisa Colby said. "The need is great and it's going to go on for a long long time."

Colby is the executive director of the Upstate Red Cross Chapter.

The American Red Cross said water isn't the only thing pouring into Texas. Aid and donations are making their way across state lines.

"What makes me hopeful is the number of people that have come out to support the Red Cross. It's heartwarming, the response has overwhelmed us," Colby said. 

Hammond said, unfortunately, scammers will piggyback off credible organizations like the American Red Cross.

"There are individuals and groups out there, that want to take advantage of the situation," Hammond said. "You should ask what percentage of my contribution is going toward the charitable purpose."

He suggests giving a credit card or check instead of a cash donation.

"Make sure the organization is tax deductible, that will help you with your records," Hammond said.  

Colby said there are things to look for to make sure the organization is not a scam.

"Every organization of our particular size is a 501(c)(3) and should have a 990 online, so that's full transparency. It tells you everything you need to know about the organizations and how they're spending their funds wisely," Colby said. "We're very transparent about that. We publish reports so the public can see the exact expense and how we are using that money."

The American Red Cross said for every dollar donated, 91 cents is put directly toward hurricane operations. 

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