(WTVM) - During a time of devastation, like the tornadoes that passed through parts of Georgia and Lee County Alabama last week, some people are eager to make donations and step in to help.
Unfortunately, there are also people who make it a mission to take advantage of storm victims.
Scammers are on the lookout to make the most out of a bad situation.
“They know that you’re at you’re low and that’s how they can wean in to scam you,”said Mallory Vergara with the Better Business Bureau.
Be on the lookout for fake organizations asking for donations through PayPal or Cash App. It’s recommended to only go through credible organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army or local churches.
“You can even check on bbb.org to see if they are with us, Google them, and check anywhere you can find that it’s a good charity," said Vergara.
If your home was damaged in the storm be on the lookout for fake contractors who ask for money upfront, and then end up nowhere to be found.
Contractors also tend to take a part in price gouging because they know people are trying to rebuild as fast as possible.
“Make sure they have a license. Make sure they have insurance. If they are asking you to sign something right now, that should be a red flag to let you know to do some extra research beforesigning. There’s plenty of ways you can get extra pricing on different contractors," said Vergara.
Lastly, weather you’re the storm victim who needs help or someone making donations, the Better Business Bureau says to always make payments with checks or credit cards and not debit.
Never pay a contractor upfront in cash because there is no way to keep track of where your money is going.