CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Hurricane Idalia has ripped through the Southeastern United States… leaving behind more than $9 billion of damage.

Many people are now looking to help but not everyone soliciting donations is legitimate. Whenever a natural disaster strikes immediately there are people both seeking help and looking to help but unfortunately in these moments, there are also people looking to steal a victim’s money.

Fraudsters have been contacting people by phone, text message, email, and social media posing as charities to help the victims of the hurricane and even if you are on the Do Not Call list you can still receive calls from charities because they are exempt from the law.

22News spoke to Steve Weisman, an attorney and creator of, about why he urges everyone to go to whenever they receive a message from a charity that interests them to make sure it’s legitimate.

Weisman also said that there’s no need to ever respond to one of these messages even if you do confirm that it’s coming from a real charity. Now typically the people who are targeted the most with these are the elderly.

Local News