4:11 PM EST, March 5, 2012
Tragedies can bring out the best in Americans, but also the worst. Beware of scammers targeting victims of the Midwest tornadoes and those who say they're trying to help.
The pictures and the stories from the aftermath of the Midwest tornadoes have a lot of Americans wondering, how can I help?
"People in town lost their homes, where they sleep and eat. We have a business, but they lost everything, their home and the whole nine yards and that's bad, that's very, very bad," said Sherman Sykes, Henryville resident.
Even during tragedies, there are usually scammers who want to take something, even from those who've lost everything.
The Better Business Bureau warns those in the affected areas to beware of storm-chasers, shady out-of-town contractors who may offer quick fixes to a home or business, and skip town before they deliver.
They advise checking that a contractor is licensed and registered by your state or local agency. Don't pay for a job upfront, and pay by credit card if possible. That may give more protections.
For those who want to donate money to victims, research a charity through a third party site before giving.
Reputable charities rarely solicit over the internet, so be wary of emails with embedded links that claim to be from a relief organization, they could be a scam.