BBB warns of disaster scams

The Better Business Bureau is warning people who may consider donating to help victim of Typhoon Haiyan in the Phillippines.

The BBB says phony charities often pop up following a major tragedy to take advantage of peopleâ??s sympathy for victims.

"Whenever there is a major natural disaster, there are two things you can count on: The first is the generosity of Americans who donate time and money to help victims, and the second is the appearance of poorly run and, in some cases, fraudulent charities," said Michelle L. Corey, BBB president and CEO. "Donors want to be sure their money goes to competent relief organizations that are equipped to handle the unique challenges of providing assistance in a disaster zone."

The BBB says the best way to help is to donate money to a reputable humanitarian organization like the American Red Cross.

The agency also offers the following tips:

Rely on respected experts to evaluate a charity.

Be wary of claims that 100-percent of donations assist victims.

Be cautious when giving online to unfamiliar charities

Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups.