Oil spill fraud reported: how to donate money wisely

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The Independent Online

A report on the BBC online news service on August the 12 revealed suspicions of con men posing as fishermen to try and cash in from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Claim seekers are also thought to have established some small-scale fraudulent charities.

According to the British news service, BP has already paid out $308 million to individuals and businesses affected by the disaster which occurred on April 20, following an explosion on the rig Deepwater horizon which cost the lives of 11 men and led to what has officially been dubbed ‘the worst oil spill in history'.

With the spill now effectively capped, the true environmental and economic costs of the disaster are beginning to fully sink in. Many concerned animal lovers and environmentalists from around the world have donated money to help with the rebuilding of the ecosystem (and community) and the rehabilitation and continued protection of the Gulf's wildlife.

However due to the revelation of false claims and even the establishment of fraudulent charities, the international organization Charity Watch and the American Institute of Philanthropy have issued a list of approved charities which will ensure that donations from around the world go to helping the wildlife.

The list of approved charities include: Center for Biological Diversity, Oxfam-America and Friends of The Earth amongst others. The majority of these environmental charities take international credit and debit cards such as Visa, Master Card or American Express.

A full list of charities and information about American Institute of Philanthropy is available at: http://www.charitywatch.org/hottopics/Gulf_Oil_Disaster.html

More information about charities in America and how to report those that are suspected of operating under false pretenses is available at http://www.bbb.org/us/charity