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Police, BBB warn about Hurricane Harvey charity scams

Cleveland's BBB wants donors do their homework
Posted at 11:25 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 07:13:36-04

The Summit County Sheriff's office and the Cleveland Better Business Bureau have now issued warnings about the potential for Hurricane Harvey donation scams.

Cleveland BBB President Sue McConnell told News 5, where there is devastation and need, con artists are never far away.

McConnell said consumers should beware of Hurricane Harvey phone and internet solicitations that employ high pressure tactics to get donors to make a quick decision.

"If somebody is using intimidation, or really pulling at your heartstrings and saying we need the money today, we need the money now, then you might want to look for another place to donate," said McConnell.

"Watch for impostor websites that could pop-up, trying to pretend to be someone like the Red Cross."

McConnell said donors should check on a charity through its Give.org website, before opening up their wallets.

Mary Miragliotta, who lived in Spring Texas for 35 years, and has family living in Cyprus Texas, was stunned to learn con artists would try to cash-in on the Hurricane Harvey devastation.

"It's awful, I just can't believe that people would take advantage of other people in a situation like this," said Miragliotta.

Miragliotta is fighting back here in Cleveland, along with Maria Toney, collecting donations for hurricane victims through Mira Family Charity.

The registered charity is collecting cleaning products, diapers and other daily household products at its Cleveland location, at 2433 Payne Avenue, on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, from 7 AM to 6 PM.