Reported by Regina Raccuglia
NASHVILLE, Tenn.People who have reached out to help clean up the Gulf Coast oil spill were shocked to learn they were scammed.
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More than 100 middle Tennesseans who are trying to help were scammed after they gave out their credit card over the phone.
Kathleen Calligan with the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee said there is a new surge of scammers asking for quick donations by credit card.
When the BBB first got the reports, these scams were mainly through the phone. Now a new tier of scams have started to target people's e-mail.
The FBI rarely handles cases like this, but it has started to investigate out of concern over the number of thieves trying to profit from the oil spill.
Donors can stay on top of their donation with a legitimate organization by asking one question, according to Calligan:
"If I give a dollar, how much is actually going down to the Gulf that is going to be used in that cleanup, and how much is going to fund raising?" she said.
The BBB said no more than 60 percent of a person's donation should be used to pay for fundraising or administrative fees for the company, but there are many organizations that give most of a donation to the actual cause.
Click here for a list of approved charities assisting the Gulf Coast oil spill cleanup.
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