I got an email today,  I’m sure everyone reading this has received an email or two like this in their time, it was a blatant scam asking for my banking information for a relief effort for the victims of the massive earthquake that hit Haiti.  There are scams like this for everything from disaster relief to victims of violent crime.  It takes a really despicable kind of evil to profiteer from these tragedies.  Not only is it taking advantage of  a person’s generosity to clean them out, it’s stealing from those who really need our help the most.

If you receive one of these emails, please delete it without thinking twice and DO NOT give them banking or credit card information.  Honourable foundations don’t solicit this way and they most certainly don’t ask you to pass it on to your entire address book.

I do believe in supporting relief efforts, hospitals and all of that wonderful stuff.  I’m not suggesting you don’t, but please do it through a foundation that you recognize and have approached yourself.  Personally, I’m a big fan of the International Red Cross and that is where my donation will go.  Today on the Dinosaur Comics Blog, Ryan North also mentioned Doctors Without Boarders , Mercy Corps and Partners In Health.  If you can support the Haitian relief effort, any one of these organizations will see your generosity to the people who need it most.  They’ll also provide you with a proper receipt, information on exactly how your gift will help and contact with an actual person if you have questions.

If you can give, please do.  This has been reported as one of the worst natural disasters since the Tsunami and there are thousands without homes, food or shelter.