Better Business Bureau warns of fake charities

JACKSON, Tenn. — If you are looking to help those in need following a tragedy, be careful as not all charities are legitimate.

Leaders with the Better Business Bureau say scammers take advantage of those wanting to help others, especially during an unfortunate event.

“Every time there’s a tragedy, like I said, we see more and more of these fake charities pop up. And more and more, we’re seeing these fake pleads on these crowdfunding sites,” said Daniel Irwin, the Director of Public Relations and Outreach for the Better Business Bureau.

Irwin says to be careful of any group or organization that comes up right after a tragedy.

“There’s going to be a lot of them that pop up overnight. Again, not all of them are fake, not all of them are scams. Some of them have great intentions, but they’re just not able to provide the services that they claim they can,” Irwin said.

Irwin says to do your research if giving to a crowdfund site.

“Review the platform’s policies and procedures. Keep in mind that some crowdfunding sites take precautions in carefully screening, vetting and managing postings, but others don’t,” Irwin said.

He says many times scammers use these websites.

“A lot of times these GoFundMe pages, or these crowdfunding pages, will have names and pictures of victims, and they don’t always have permission to do so,” Irwin said.

Irwin says there ways to verify the legitimacy of a charity.

“We recommend giving to those that meet our standards, the BBB Standards for Charity, and you can find those at our charitable giving branch. It’s give.org and you can go there and find tips for donating and you can also see a list of reputable charities,” Irwin said.

Irwin says if you have been a victim of a scam, report it to the BBB on their website and also to the Federal Trade Commission.

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