Text “HAITI” to 20222 to donate $10 to Haiti relief
Wyclef Jean’s grassroots org
Text Yele to 501501 to donate $5 via cellphone
The U.S. State Department Operations Center said Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti should call 1-888-407-4747. Due to heavy volume, some callers may receive a recording. “Our embassy is still in the early stages of contacting American citizens through our Warden Network,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement. “Communications are very difficult within Haiti at this time.”
Text to help
For those interesting in helping immediately, simply text “HAITI” to “90999” and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill. (More information)
Some of the major credit card companies, including American Express and Mastercard are waiving their usual fees so that the full amount of donation will go to the relief organization. Typically, a small percentage is charged to the organization accepting the credit card.
An analysis by the Huffington Post found that credit card companies make about $250 million a year off of people’s charitable donations.
Beware of scams
Finally, the FBI urges people who are looking for ways to help with earthquake relief to be wary of solicitations that could be from scam artists.
“Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization or a good cause,” the FBI said, in passing along these tips:
- Ignore unsolicited e-mails, and do not click on links within those messages.
- Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
- Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files, because the files may contain computer viruses. Open attachments only from know senders.
- Decline to give personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions.
- Make contributions directly to known organizations, rather than relying on others who claim in e-mails that they will channel the donation to established groups.