Our hearts go out to those impacted by the devastating wildfires that are ravaging Colorado. When disasters like this occur, Americans respond. We make donations, we provide shelter, we assist wherever we can. Here is a partial list of resources the help those in need:
- Springs Rescue Mission is taking Gatorade, blankets, food, clothing and household items for the Waldo Canyon fire. (719) 632-1822
- Care and Share at 2605 Preamble Point in Colorado Springs is taking food and non-perishables, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Donations have topped 1 Million Pounds of Food!
- Go to Help Colorado Now for a list of ways to donate vacation rental property for displaced families, also meals from restaurants and other items.
- You can Donate or Volunteer at the Colorado Red Cross
In Colorado there are volunteer firefighters who have been working around the clock and need need donations to buy gas, supplies and equipment. Here is a partial list to consider for your donations:
Northeast Teller County Fire Protection District – http://www.netellerfire.org/
Green Mountain Falls Chipita Park Fire Department: http://www.gmfcpfd.org/
Boulder Rural Fire Department: http://www.brfd.org/
Allenspark Fire Department: http://www.allensparkfire.com/homepage.html
Glacier View Fire – www.glacierviewfiredept.com
Rist Canyon Fire – www.rcvfd.org
Poudre Canyon Fire – www.poudre-fire.org
For those wondering about the status of their homes or the homes of friends and relatives, you can find a series of aerial photos of the areas impacted by the Waldo Canyon Fire here.
Unfortunately, when disasters like this occur, there are also those that seek to take advantage of the situation. These fraudulent actions are deplorable. Examples of recent types of fraud related to relief efforts include:
– Fraudulent Charities: Cases in which individuals falsely hold themselves out as agents of a legitimate charities, or create “charities” that are in fact shams;
– Identity Theft: Cases in which the identities of innocent victims are “stolen” and assumed by criminals who convert the assets of, or otherwise defraud, the victims;
– Insurance Fraud: Cases in which false or inflated insurance claims are filed
– Government Benefit Fraud: Cases in which individuals file false applications seeking benefits to which they are not entitled.
Several resources are available to obtain information about, and report instances of, fire-related fraud. Members of the public can call the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI to report instances of fraud or report online on the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.
The Fraud Section of the Criminal Division maintains additional information about internet-related scams at http://www.internetfraud.usdoj.gov. The Federal Trade Commission provides additional information at its website, http://www.ftc.gov , and a toll-free FTC hotline, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357, TTY/TDD: 202-326-2502), also allows consumers to report suspected schemes to defraud.