Breaking News
More () »

Tips to avoid getting scammed while helping disaster victims

BBB’s Give.org recommends before making a contribution or sending a donation to verify if the charity they choose to support meets the BBB Standards.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A lot of people are looking to give to victims of this weekend's devastating tornadoes and storms. 

But there are plenty of scammers looking to take advantage of your good intentions. Tom Bartholomy from the Better Business Bureau shows us what you should be looking out for.

BBB’s Give.org recommends before making a contribution or sending a donation to verify if the charity they choose to support meets the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

RELATED: A tornado in December? It can happen when the weather conditions are just right

The BBB also said instead of clicking on links that others may send in texts and social media, consider making a cash donation directly through the charity’s own website. In an emergency situation, this is likely the fastest way of sending help, the BBB said. In-kind donations of supplies may be well-intended but can sometimes be difficult and costly to manage if the charity does not already have an established means to help distribute them to those in need.

Crowdfunding campaigns are already being set up for those in need. While some may be drawn to providing direct assistance to individuals, BBB Wise Giving Alliance recommends the following tips:

RELATED: 'It's heartbreaking' | Samaritan's Purse crews sent to Arkansas react to the devastating loss

  • Give to people and organizations you know. It is safest to give to crowdfunding postings of people you personally know. If that is not possible, consider a posting that is being managed by an established charitable organization that can be checked out.
  • Not all crowdfunding sites operate alike. Some crowdfunding platforms do a better job of vetting postings and projects that appear on their site than others. Review the site’s description of its procedures. If they do take precautions, they generally announce that fact loudly to help encourage giving.
  • See if the posting describes how funds will be used. Vague descriptions of how the collected funds will be used should also be a yellow caution light. Thoughtful collections will take the added step of identifying and verifying needs before money is raised.

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.  

Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.
SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts

All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.


Before You Leave, Check This Out