FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver, BC - The biggest mass shooting in U.S. history is on the hearts on minds of everyone around the world. On October 1st a gunman killed 59 people and injured hundreds more as he opened fire from a hotel window onto a crowd of thousands watching a concert across the street. Emotions run high at times like these when a community does everything it can to come together and heal. While the pain is still fresh, scammers will set up crowdfunding websites to prey upon your desire to do something to help.
“This is an ideal scenario for this type of scam,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “With so many people and families affected on both sides of the border we would anticipate many crowdfunding sites to pop up, and many of course will be legit, but others will be set up to scam you.”
Websites like GoFundMe make it very easy for others to make and receive donations. However, keep in mind that because it’s very user-friendly, it’s easier for scammers to find and target victims, collect cash and then disappear. In order to avoid this, always make sure you are donating directly to the person you know. In addition to that, note that the more information on a website, the better. Links, videos, bios, etc. are all good indicators of a legitimate site.
“In many cases, it’s best to give support to legitimate charity organizations who are already established in the function of accepting and distributing donations,” adds Kelly. “With crowdfunding initiatives, it’s sometimes difficult to say how and where the money is being used, and there is no receipt issued.”
How can you spot questionable crowdfunding sites?
• Pay close attention to campaigns that provide little to no details.
• Not having links or social media is typically a sign of a fraudulent account.
• Credible campaigns will usually have a video on the campaign site.
• Constantly look for updates and account activity.
• Check to see if others have heard of the cause or concept.
• Dig into the creator’s background. Have they successfully done this before?
• Read the fine print. Make sure you know exactly how the money donated will be used.
• Though it may be challenging, don’t get caught up in emotions. These campaigns will take drastic measures to entice potential donors. Be smart and give wisely.
Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor
BBB Serving Mainland BC
404-788 Beatty Street
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 365 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 108 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2016, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed 6,000 complaints.