The Better Business Bureau is advising caution before you open your wallet to donate to any outfit calling itself the Cajun Navy.
In a warning Thursday, the BBB said several "Cajun Navy" entities in the Acadiana region of Louisiana appeared to be charitable organizations but were not.
"'Cajun Navy'" is a term that is synonymous with selfless acts of heroism … brave men and women who risk their lives to help rescue people and provide relief to communities after a natural disaster," the BBB said. "However, there are some unscrupulous people who take advantage of the generosity and kindness of others, especially during these emergency situations."
The Better Business Bureau serving Acadiana worked with government agencies to identify for-profit businesses that were accepting donations as if they were charities, the BBB said.
If you wish to donate to help during natural disasters such as Hurricane Michael, the BBB advises that you donate only to experienced disaster relief organizations. The organization also recommends being careful about giving through crowdfunding websites, especially when donating to individuals rather than organizations.
Click here for a list of BBB Accredited Charities that are contributing to Hurricane Michael disaster relief.