Scam targets Haitians in U.S. trying to help family members

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Haitians living in the U.S. are being targeted by a scam that convinces them to pay money with the promise of getting their relatives to this country, the Embassy of Haiti and the Greater Washington Haiti Relief Committee announced.

Potential victims are contacted by phone or with fliers passed around in Haitian communities. They are told that if they wire $500, in return they will receive a package of documents and a confirmation number permitting them to go to the devastated island nation and bring five relatives to the U.S.

The committee and the embassy are also warning people to beware of any offer promising to fly people out of Haiti.

A spokesperson for the committee told WalletPop the scam is nationwide and particularly prevalent in large Haitian American communities.

It is common for scams to develop around a tragedy. Con artists know people are ready to reach into their pockets to make donations or help loved ones.

If you are targeted by this scam, you are asked to contact the FBI's disaster fraud hotline at (866) 720-5721 or by e-mail disaster@leo.gov.

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