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Better Business Bureau Warns Of Charity Scams

Friday December 6th, 2013, 2:00pm


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The Better Business Bureau is sending out a warning this Holiday Season about charity scams that pop up.

While the holidays always bring out the best in peopl and many charities count on end-of-year generosity from donors to meet the needs of those less fortunate, the BBB says scammers know this and prey on unsuspecting consumers who don’t do their homework when giving money to charities.

Scammers operate in any means possible according to the BBB: they solicit by phone and email, or post links to fraudulent charities on social media sites with names similar to those of legitimate organizations. In some cases, scammers even pose as legitimate charities, in one variation of the so-called imposter scam.

Western Union and the Better Business Bureau launched BBB Scam Stopper to help consumers reduce their chances of becoming a victim of common scams.

“We urge donors to give thoughtfully, and to be wary of scams this holiday season,” said Deborah Brady, President and CEO of BBB Serving Western Ontario, “It’s important to check out a charity first, and make sure you are giving to a charity that will use your donation wisely.”

Here are tips to consider when giving money to charities:

  • It’s best always to donate to a charity directly after confirming its legitimacy – rather than giving in response to a phone call or by clicking an email link.
  • Never send a money transfer to an individual for a charity.
  • Never share banking or credit card information with a person or business you don’t actually know.
  • Never click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites or in texts or emails. These may take you to a lookalike website where you will be asked to provide personal financial information or to click on something that downloads harmful malware into your computer.
  • Resist rushing. A charity will accept your donation your donation at any time if they are legitimate.

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