and our friends at Zolex PC have an important warning about the latter:

Unfortunately tragedies and catastrophes like Haiti’s current situation can give rise to golden opportunities for scammers and Flim-Flammers alike to make money off of a willing and generous public. There are plenty of Scam Sites already out there trying to do this masking themselves as helping Haiti but really just helping themselves to your generous donations.

The advice is basic but too often ignored. Remember the thieves go where the money is and the money now is online, and available via “text”…

Websites can be put up in a matter of hours and appear completely legitimate so do your research before you donate your money to a scam. Texting scams are very common. With texting you never know what else you could be signing up for. Scams come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Be it via Text messaging, Email Scams, Websites, Facebook, or any other means. Where there is a way to take advantage and trick people through their own generosity, you can be sure there are plenty of slime and scum who will take advantage of it.

Read the whole thing as they say. Also if you decide to give online do a google or yahoo search to be sure you are getting to a real site, particularly if you are iffy on spelling. This makes it less likely to hit a “spoof” site. DON’T give via e-mail links or IM requests.

Take this advice to heart so that your hard earned money goes to those who need it not to those who are looking for a quick buck. (My advice: give through your local church if you have one).