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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Western Ontario
Better Business Bureau Warn of Charity Scams During Giving Season
December 05, 2013

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


To learn more about which charities meet BBB Charity Accountability standards, go to www.westernontario.bbb.org/charity.