Watch out for Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud

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Watch out for Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud

Follow these tips to ensure that your donations go to a legitimate charity.

It's been just two days since an earthquake turned much of Haiti's capital to ruins and already con artists are trying to take advantage of the situation. The FBI is warning people to be wary of any e-mails appealing for money to help victims of the quake.

To protect yourself, the FBI recommends the following:

Don't respond to unsolicited e-mails -- especially don't click on any links or attachments within the e-mail. These files may contain viruses.

Watch out on social networking sites for people asking for donations. If you don't know the person, it could be a fraudulent request. Even if you do know the person, you should contribute directly to an organization rather than through another individual.

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Do not give personal information to anyone who is soliciting donations.

If you do want to contribute to the Haitian earthquake relief effort, Charity Navigator has a list of legitimate organizations that are accepting donations. You also can check out charities at the Better Business Bureau's Web site.