Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Opinion

May 23, 2013

OUR VIEW: Scammers seek profit from tragedy

We’re disgusted we even have to write this editorial.

As residents of Oklahoma City and its suburbs barely start the process of picking themselves up off the ground, we’ve already received warnings from state police about scammers looking to make a quick buck off the misfortune of others.

Towns were erased off the map by the rage of a top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado. With the tornado stretching more than a mile across, its 17-mile path was unbelievably devastating.

The search for the missing has nearly come to an end, with 24 on the books as victims. Ten of those were children. Those who did survive have likely not yet even begun to struggle with the decision of whether to rebuild or move on. Though the authorities have yet to say how many homes were destroyed, it’s clear it’s a decision hundreds will have to make.

None of this takes into account the emotional trauma, not only of those affected personally but also those whose hearts broke across the nation as news report came rolling in.

It’d been just a week since the carnage in Texas, and now we’re again watching helplessly as wind toppling 200 mph pulverizes a community.

Many want to help. It’s the way we are here in America. These types of situations tend to bring out the best in people. Many have already jumped in their cars and headed south, looking to help in any way they can. Many have already started collecting needed items. For many, monetarily is the only option for helping.

Unfortunately, these situations also tend to bring out the worst in some people. But don’t let that keep you from helping the victims and their effort to rebuild their lives. Just be smart about how you do it.

And that’s why the Indiana State Police has sent out an advisory about how to avoid scams.

Here’s the advice offered:

Be skeptical of those going door-to-door or making phone calls to residents claiming to be collecting for tornado relief. If you are contacted by someone asking for donations, ask questions. Ask the person collecting for credentials what organization he or she represents, if there is an address donations can be sent, etc.

If you are approached and feel someone is trying to scam you, try to get as much information as possible such as a name, description of the person, description of the vehicle including color, make, and license number if possible, then contact police.

Further, they advise, the best way to contribute is to donate money and other needed supplies through known legitimate organizations.

Here are some options we’ve found:

• Donate as little as $10 to the American Red Cross’ disaster relief efforts by texting “Red Cross” to 90999.

• Send contributions to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157. Or call 1-800-725-2769.

• Other charities involved in the response efforts include: Feed the Children, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief and the Oklahoma Blood Institute.

For more information on donations, visit www.ok.gov/okstrong

We encourage you to help if you feel so inclined, but we also want you to make sure your hard-earned money gets into the hands of the people who really need it.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 25, 2014

  • FREY: Hero pilot still on a mission to save lives Ordinary people who live their lives, do something spectacular one day, and then embrace a great cause after retirement are tops in my book.Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III is such an individual. He is the pilot who safely landed a US Airways airplan

    July 25, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why incumbents keep getting reelected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 24, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Write clear rules for vanity plate licenses We see vanity license plates regularly. Some are funny or thought-provoking. Others are just plain puzzling.One specialty plate backing autism research and support carries the heartfelt message “4MYSON.” Others are more prosaic, as in COLTFANZ.It’s c

    July 24, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Four-legged family I have three pets. First, Paisley, a long-haired cream and tortoise Ragdoll cat. She’s the aristocracy in our group, compared to the rest of us, who are all blue collar folks. Her movements are slow and stately and her mien is gracious. She is by far

    July 24, 2014

  • Holly Sklar SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin

    July 23, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have

    July 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho

    July 22, 2014

  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.