Want to help Haiti? Just send a text.

Group's like Wyclef Jean's Yéle Haiti and the Red Cross are offering services in which you can donate $5 or $10 for Haiti relief efforts just by sending a text message from your cellphone. But watch out for scams.

By , Staff writer

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    Bernard Toussaint, originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, tries to reach his mother in Haiti on his cell phone in New York, Wednesday. The International Red Cross says a third of Haiti's 9 million people may need emergency aid and that it would take a day or two for a clear picture of the damage to emerge from Tuesday afternoon's magnitude-7.0 earthquake.
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Following the success of "text to donate" services made famous by American Idol - which in one night this year raised more than $450,000 from more than 90,000 cellphone donors for the Keep a Child Alive charity – a number of groups are allowing generous souls to help Haitians just by pressing a few buttons on their cellphone.

Foremost among them at the moment is hip hop star Wyclef Jean's Yéle Haiti charity where you can text YELE to 501501 to give $5 to help with earthquake relief efforts.

The US State Department seems to favor the Red Cross, where you can text "HAITI" to "90999" to donate $10 to the Red Cross.

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The donations are added to your cellphone bill.

In Canada, people can  donate $5 to the Salvation Army by texting "Haiti" to 45678 through a system set up by the Mobile Giving Foundation.

But be careful.

Not all "text to donate" services are created equal. Opportunistic scammers typically come out of the woodwork in the wake of catastrophes, hoping to strike it rich through fraudulent schemes.

Haiti's 7.0 earthquake, in which hundreds of thousands might have died, is no exception.

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