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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

4 Tips when Making Disaster Relief Donations

October 14, 2015 2:15 am

Relief funds are vital to communities impacted by a natural disaster, but an influx of donations in its aftermath can make it difficult to determine how individual contributions will be purposed. According to the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, donors can avoid questionable solicitations and ensure their contributions are put to good use by:

Exercising caution when giving online;

Following Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti, the FBI raised concerns about newly-created organizations and websites that claimed to help victims. Be cautious about spam messages and emails that claim to link to a relief organization. If you want to give to a charity involved in relief efforts, go directly to the charity’s website.

Remaining wary of “100 percent” claims;

If a charity claims that 100 percent of collected funds will be assisting disaster victims, the truth is that the organization is still likely incurring fundraising and administrative expenses. Even a credit card donation will involve, at minimum, a processing fee. It may use some of its other funds to pay these costs, but the expenses will still be incurred.

Giving to the charity directly;

Some charities may be raising money to pass along to other relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider “avoiding the middleman” and giving directly to those that have a presence in the affected region. At minimum, research who the ultimate recipients are to see if they are equipped to provide aid effectively.

Avoiding inexperienced charities;

While well-intentioned, in-kind drives for food and clothing may not necessarily be the best way to help those in need, unless the organization has the staff and infrastructure to distribute donations properly. Ask the charity about its transportation and distribution plans, and be wary of those who are inexperienced in disaster relief.

Source: BBB Wise Giving Alliance

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Seniors: 10 Ways to Avoid ID Theft

October 14, 2015 2:15 am

Identity fraud involving elderly individuals is not uncommon – in fact, older persons are often targeted specifically by identity thieves seeking financial gain. To protect yourself, your parents or loved ones from identity theft, follow these 10 tips recommended by Experian.

1. Always shred or destroy documents that contain personal information before throwing them away. 

2. Never respond to cold phone calls or e-mails asking for account details, PINs, passwords or personal information.

3. Don’t give too much away on networking websites. For example, pets’ names or children’s names could be used as passwords.

4. Register to vote at your current address. If you don’t, thieves could use your previous address details to open new credit accounts and run up debt in your name.

5. Monitor your mail regularly so you know when to expect important documents — and when to act if they don’t arrive. 

6. If you move to a new home, redirect your mail through the postal service.

7. Always use secure, unique passwords for as many online accounts as possible. At the very least, have a unique password for each type of service provider, such as financial services, retail services and email. 

8. Don’t store account names and passwords on your smartphone, either in email, as a note, or to auto-complete when you open a website or app. It will be a goldmine for fraudsters if your device is lost or stolen. 

9. Read all bank and card statements regularly to check for suspicious transactions. 

10. Check your credit report regularly for suspicious applications and spending.

Source: Experian

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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