When something terrible happens – like the flooding the Quad Cities have experienced over the last few weeks – there are a few constants. Some are great, like the support of friends, family and neighbors.

Some are not so great, like those who try to financially capitalize on relief efforts. It's happened in more than a few scenarios nationwide that relief fundraisers have been established, only to be revealed as a scam.

According to the Quad City Times, no scams have been reported in our area, but police are still warning people to be wary.

Here are some things to watch for, per the Times' report:

  • Look at who is organizing the campaign and try to figure out how they are related to the cause and what relationship they have to the family or business they are raising money for. Read the comment section of GoFundMe campaigns.
  • Check to make sure that you are looking at the original campaign. “Often times there will be an original one, which is either authorized by a family or a business, and then others will hop on as well.”
  • For those a little more tech savvy, do a reverse Google search for photos on campaign pages to see if they are original photos or stock photos. “If they aren’t using personal photos and they’re using a stock photo, that should be a red flag right there.”
  • Look at the Facebook page of the organizer. “Most people have at least over 100 friends (on Facebook). If it’s under that and it looks like it’s pretty new, boy that’s a red flag, too.”
  • When considering utilizing a flood damage clean-up company, do an internet search of the company’s name and read the comment section. “A lot of times you’re going to see people who unfortunately have problems and have been victims before or were able to sniff it out beforehand. You’re going to see that they have not great reviews.”

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