Call to prevent relief donation scam

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The former aide to Sir Thomas Hilbourne Frank, Member of Parliament for Barbuda, said somebody needs to take responsibility for financial relief efforts coming into the island.
Since the announcement that Barbuda was nearly flattened by Hurricane Irma, individuals have been setting up GoFundMe accounts and asking for financial assistance via social media.
But so many times, scammers have committed fraud, using disasters or death as an opportune platform to exploit concerned citizens.
It is with that in mind that Makeda Mikael told OBSERVER media, “Everybody is setting up accounts and asking people to put money there.  It is wrong.  It needs to be controlled before it gets out of hand. Somebody needs to take control and not let Barbuda be used again.” 
Thus far, the Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross and the Government of Antigua & Barbuda are two of the legitimate entities to which people can donate.
A Facebook post by the President of the Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross, Michael Joseph, was just yesterday, encouraging people to donate.
He wrote, “We may understand that some persons are skeptical of donating to the Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross because of whatever personal aspersions, however, we have demonstrated our commitment to the people of Antigua & Barbuda and assure our fullest transparency in rebuilding Barbuda.”
The group promises that every cent collected through the (#helpBarbuda) campaign will be donated to the Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross.
They have asked those concerned to download the Ticketing Events app on Google Play or the Apple App Store or to visit their website http://abredcross.org/disaster to donate money towards relief efforts.
The Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross is part of an International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and has been on Barbuda since Thursday, doing assessments to verify the needs of the residents there.
Meanwhile, the Government of Antigua & Barbuda has asked those wishing to make “cash donations” to make contributions to one of its two established accounts.
In an email Thursday, Government Chief of Staff, Lionel “Max” Hurst said the Antigua Commercial Bank and the Caribbean Union Bank have been set up to accommodate funds on behalf of the state.
“The name and number of the account at the Antigua Commercial Bank is:
Barbuda Relief and Rebuilding Fund: Account No. 100004717.
The name and number of the account at the Caribbean Union Bank is:
Barbuda Relief & Rebuilding Fund, Account No. 10001372,” Hurst wrote.
He also attached the SWIFT Codes and Routing Numbers for funds which will be transmitted from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and several other states that fall outside of this hemisphere.

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