There is a lot of scam on the internet to say the least. Many of them are designed to steal your credit card information, bank account information, or other personal information. Because of the recent disaster in Japan this may be a good time to shed some light on this topic.
Scam artists use various disasters as windows of opportunity to prey on good Samaritans everywhere. It is very common after any type of disaster to see fake websites and emails claiming to be a legitimate organization when they are really just there to steal your money.
So, how do you determine where to donate your hard earned money? Well the best way to give your you decide to do so is to give directly to legitimate organizations via their websites. Some scams allow you to donate via various money transfer sites but do not actually do it through their website. A legitimate organization accepts donations through their website, which would be a website that has their organization name as the domain name as well. One good example is The American Red Cross (www.redcross.org), they are a legitimate organization that is often masqueraded as.
The best way to find reputable organization online is to check with the Better Business Bureau to determine if A) the organization is legitimate and B) if there are any complaints against them. To read more about Donation scams and how to protect yourself click here.