LITTLETON, Colo., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- WorldNomads.com offers suggestions on how compassionate and generous individuals can avoid being scammed by those taking advantage of the tragedies of others, such as the recent devastation in Haiti.
"Fortunately, in times of such unimaginable disaster there are generous individuals worldwide who want to contribute money and/or personal time in relief," explains Chris Noble, general manager of World Nomads. "However not everyone is honorable and we just want everyone to be on the lookout for possible and documented charity and travel scams."
Common Scams to Watch Out For:
1. Check credentials of unrecognized organizations and /or individuals purporting to be collecting for even well-known charities. This is common sense both at home and in a disaster region. A trustworthy "text to donate" source can be used. Texting HAITI to 90999 will donate $10 to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts. The $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill.
2. If someone claims to be calling from a medical center at a disaster site and purports to have news about a loved one and asks that money be sent for treatment, listen carefully, ask for details on the medical center, hang up and try to reach the medical center in question through proper channels (i.e. verify the number through a phone book or operator assistance). Do not use the potential scammer's contact details to call back.
3. Only travel to a disaster region as part of an official, organized relief mission. They'll give proper training and support to stop you becoming part of the problem, rather than a solution to it.
4. Always check that the seals on bottled waters haven't been broken. Scammers have been known to sell recycled bottles that have merely been filled up with tap water.
5. Petty thievery is more common than you might think. Keep your wallet or purse with you at all times, and distribute your money and cards around your body. It's a good idea for men not to keep their wallet in the usual back pants pocket, as that is another easy target.
6. If someone buys you a drink, watch them get it from the bar and deliver it to you, or better yet, go to the bar with them. It's not unknown for travelers to be drugged unwittingly and end up lost and alone with all their gear gone.
7. There have also been reports of scams targeting people traveling to the USA. Beware of scam websites that charge for an approved travel authorization for the US Visa waiver program, which is actually free. While the websites appear genuine, the personal details provided via these websites may involve identity fraud.
Read more stories from WorldNomads.com to help keep you traveling safely at http://safety.worldnomads.com. WorldNomads.com provides travel insurance and travel safety services to residents over 150 countries. Find out why WorldNomads.com is an essential part of every adventurous traveler's journey by visiting: http://worldnomads.com.
Alexia Nestora, alexia[at]lassocommunications.com, 303 898 3376
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