How the scam works:
The American Red Cross, is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States. Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of good souls by claiming to be working for the Red Cross. There are two variations of the scam:
Scenario 1. You might receive an offer to get a job with the American Red Cross. Salary is good, conditions are great, and you can fulfill your dreams of helping people and even get money for it! Once you agree to the preliminary offer, you might be invited to connect with a lawyer to seal the deal. That’s where the scam happens: as soon as you get the ball rolling with the lawyer, you will be required to pay a small admin fee.
Little do you know that there is no real lawyer, there is no real job with the Red Cross. Scammers just charge your credit card, get your cash, and eventually steal your personal information. Never pay for a job, a job is supposed to pay you! So if you get a job offer like that, ignore it and share in the comments section below the name of the scammer!
Scenario 2. Unfortunately, late calamities such as Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent snow and ice storms that have hit the Northeast have made headlines all over the world.
The number of relief workers flooding the areas has been a testimony to the goodness of mankind. However, there are those that are still scamming workers by posing as Red Cross staff members.
Whenever a disaster occurs, scammers are offering money and transportation to clean-up sites. They ask individuals to gather at a local public parking lot to load in a van or bus to travel to affected areas (such as New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy) to assist with clean up efforts, and will be paid a certain amount of money per day. With that incentive, they also ask for donations, cash or objects, which they never give the Red Cross. However, they are not affiliated with the American Red Cross in any way.
How to avoid:
The American Red Cross advises that they never pay relief workers and they also do not accept spontaneous workers at their cleanup sites. All Red Cross workers are unpaid volunteers who have had extensive background checks completed before they are allowed to work at these sites. This measure prevents criminal elements from going in and looting ravaged areas. True Red Cross volunteers also have went through extensive disaster relief training before being deployed to devastated areas.
It is against the law to pose as a Red Cross staff member or volunteer. Ask to see proper identification if approached by one of these people. Make sure to report them to local law enforcement agencies. When so many have lost so much, scammers trying to take advantage just multiply the tragedy.
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