3 On Your Side

Alert: Beware of Hurricane Harvey Scams

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Hurricane Harvey victims need your help but you should be aware of those who want to take advantage of your generosity. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Hurricane Harvey victims need your help but you should be aware of those who want to take advantage of your generosity. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Hurricane Harvey has left destruction that will take years to overcome.

With that said, you might feel like you want to help families left stranded and scammers know that.

[RELATED: Houston is flooded -- and the water is still rising]

"I think there are a lot of good natured people out there, but there are others who will see this as an opportunity,” said Felecia Thompson with the Phoenix Better Bureau.

[RELATED: How Arizonans can help the victims of Hurricane Harvey]

She advises people to use caution if you get a phone call looking to donate.

You can verify if it's a legitimate organization by visiting www.Give.org and see if the charity is listed.

Also, avoid crowdfunding. If someone comes across a social media post asking for money, then only give to people you personally know.

[RELATED: Man with boat jumps in to 'go save some lives' after Harvey]

Folks might claim to be a hurricane victim, but are not.

"There's going to be websites raising money for victims but there also be people out there saying they are raising money but will actually pocket the money," according to Thompson.

And finally, be cautious about donating clothing. These kinds of drives are well intentioned, but the Better Business Bureau says it's not the quickest way to help those in need.

[RELATED: Arizona Red Cross volunteers join Harvey relief efforts in Texas]

The list of organizations below is provided by the Better Business Bureau as being safe and legitimate to donate money to for Hurricane Harvey victims.

[RELATED: Phoenix Search and Rescue headed to TX to offer hurricane aid]

If you want to donate and don’t see the organization listed, you need to do your research before sending any money.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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