BBB warns of dishonest fundraising and provides wise giving advice
DENVER – As the storm season begins and news of the devastation emerges following the tornadoes across Midwest and southern states this week, as well as severe flooding in Florida, the Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder warns to beware of charity-related fraud. Attempts to take advantage of disaster victims is common according to the BBB, as it receives reports of suspicious activity following disasters including the local floods, fires and other tragedies during recent years.
“When disasters strike, we desperately want to help as quickly as possible,” said Su Hawk, president and CEO for the BBB of Denver/Boulder. “But just as quickly as we want to help, scam artists create fake charities and fundraisers to take advantage of our good will. We urge donors to check out any fundraiser or charity before giving, and to be especially cautious online and on social media sites.”
The BBB advises donors to limit charitable giving to organizations they know and trust. Scammers can have a website, social media page, or phone number set up immediately to collect your “donations,” that look very official. The BBB warns that fundraisers or supposed charities use familiar-sounding names or try to appear to be affiliated with legitimate organizations, but are not.
Also, in recent disasters like the 2012 Colorado wildfires, scammers tried to raise money on behalf of victims by pretending to be family members. These were done through Facebook, text message, in person and by phone. Regarding individual funds, the BBB advises:
Additional wise giving tips:
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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 112 local, independent BBBs across the U. S. and Canada. Please visit denver.bbb.org for more information.