Don’t Donate to Fake 9/11 Charities

September 10, 2013

DENVER – Many charities, both old and new, are currently soliciting donations in response to ongoing needs of 9/11 victims and their families, to support 9/11 memorials and to carry out other legitimate 9/11-related purposes. However, recent news reports suggest some charities that solicited funds in the name of 9/11 did not apply funds appropriately. The Better Business Bureau warns donors to be cautious when giving.

In May, two New Jersey men were charged with allegedly running a 9/11 memorial scam by collecting donations and selling memorial T-shirts from the back of a truck painted with the Twin Towers, and names of fire fighters and police officers who died in the 9/11 attacks, according to the New Jersey state attorney general's office.

The men allegedly acted as father-and-son firefighters and raised more than $50,000, only to have all funds deposited into their personal bank accounts.

As Colorado has had its own share of tragedies and is familiar with the scams that follow, the BBB of Denver/Boulder advises donors to avoid giving to unethical charities or scam artists. The BBB recommends doing your homework before giving to specific 9/11 or other tragedy-related causes by following these tips:

  • Ask questions about why the charity still needs to collect 9/11 related money now. What ongoing purposes do they serve that flow from the events of 9/11? You can request written details from the charity about what it does with the donations.

  • Check the charity, whether local or national, with your BBB by visiting or by calling (303) 758-2100. BBB Charity Reviews say whether or not the charity meets the BBB’s 20 Standards for Charity Accountability, and give comprehensive information about the charity’s programs, financials and more.

  • Contact the BBB of Denver/Boulder to suggest a charity for BBB review and to report any unfamiliar organizations that are currently collecting 9/11 funds.

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About the BBB

The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Reviews, BBB Charity Reports and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, there are 113 local, independent BBBs across the U. S. and Canada. Please visit for more information.