Suspicious typhoon charity phone calls make their way to the Valley

PHOENIX -  

E-mail me with any consumer issue you have or "like" my Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.

We warn you about  the potential for fake charity scams anytime there is a huge disaster like Typhoon Haiyan.

Just as relief agencies are beginning their work, scammers are working overtime to cash in on your goodwill.

And it seems they've made it to the Valley.

It happened to an ABC15 co-worker just this week.

It was a recording left on her voicemail from a charity she had never heard of, asking for her credit card information.

She didn't fall for it.

But it can be hard to tell the real charities from the fake.

The FTC has issued tips on how you can give to the relief effort.

And here are some additional ways to make sure your money is going exactly where you intend.

-Avoid telemarketer's urgent pleas over the phone.

You don't know who they are.
Tell them you'll call them back, after checking them out.
    
-No matter how they reach you, make sure the charity is legitimate.

Can they tell you exactly where your money is going?
Websites like Charitynavigator.com even list those working with typhoon victims and list charities where you can designate where your money goes.

-Avoid charities you can't track and were created for this specific disaster.

There is a good chance they are fly-by-night operations.
Even if they have good intentions, they may not be properly equipped to dole out donations to those in need.
    
-Never send cash or wire money.

It's just a bad idea.
You have no record for your taxes and no way to know whether or not the charity actually got your donation.

There are a lot of reputable charities doing good work out there. You just have to make sure you do your research to find them.

Here are some website that can help you decide which charities you are most comfortable giving to.

http://www.bbb.org/us/charity

http://www.charitynavigator.org/

http://charitywatch.org/

http://www.guidestar.org/

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