By James Clark - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – State and local officials are warning Lubbockites to be careful about people who might play on our sympathy for Japan in order to collect money.
Officially, the death toll from last week's earthquake and tsunami is more than 6,400 but the number has been going up daily.
The local chapter of the American Red Cross says there are reports that a woman near 38th & Utica Avenue is collecting money in an old ice cream container.
The Red Cross statement does not make any allegations. However, the agency says, "She is not collecting officially on our behalf and we urge anyone who wishes to donate to the Red Cross or the Japanese Red Cross to do so at redcross.org."
The South Plains Chapter of the Better Business Bureau says there is no reason to rush a donation. The BBB says legitimate charities have cash and emergencies supplies on hand for a major disaster.
"If you give in a month, that will still help," says local BBB President Nan Campbell. Campbell's advice is "just not feeling like you have to do something right now and just hand somebody some cash. You have no idea where that money is going."
The Texas Attorney General's office also released a statement this week. It says Texans should never give a credit card or bank account number to a solicitor. The A.G. also says never give cash; instead, write a check directly to the charity.
Those wishing to donate to the Red Cross may do so by calling 1-800-Red-Cross, or texting "REDCROSS" to 90999 or visiting redcross.org.
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