A reader asks if this Facebook posting is true:
UPS is shipping anything under 50lbs for free to Haiti. You can send food, clothes or shoes... and American Airlines is taking doctors and nurses to Haiti for free. Please call 212-697-9767. Spread the word... Red Cross needs Creole speaking volunteers for a 24hr phone bank... Call Mr. Wilfrid @ 303-776-6900 ASAP... Please repost.
The same rumors are circulating in briefer form on Twitter:
UPS IS SHIPPING TO HAITI FOR FREE TOday!! IT HAS TO BE UNDER 50 lbs!! If you have ANYTHING to give, round up your stuff ...
AMERICAN AIRLINES is taking doctors and nurses to Haiti for free. Please call 212 697-9767. Spread the word. Thanks!
NOT true, say spokespersons for UPS and American Airlines.
"On Twitter," writes Debbie Curtis-Magley on the UPS Blog, "some have mistakenly shared a rumor that UPS will ship for free any package under 50 lbs. to Haiti. The destruction of roads and communications networks means our own shipping services to Haiti are on hold. Rather than offer free shipping to individual donors, UPS directs its aid through relief agencies."
"Last night's hoax on Twitter about American and JetBlue flying doctors and nurses to Haiti for free was just that -- a hoax," wrote American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith in an email quoted on CNN.Com. "We don't know who is responsible, but it's a very low thing to do."
Also, the FBI warns Internet users who receive requests for charitable donations on behalf of earthquake victims to "apply a critical eye and do their due diligence" before responding. "Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause."
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• FBI: Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud Alert
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• How to Help Earthquake Victims in Haiti