Experts: Don’t fall prey to Orlando donation schemes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As the country mourns the dozens of lives that were lost in Orlando over the weekend, many are looking for ways to help those that were impacted by the violence.

If you’re planning to do your part, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) says to be careful about where you’re sending your money.

The BBB says scammers prey on heightened emotion and often target people in the wake of national tragedies. The agency says it’s already received reports of click-bait schemes and questionable donation solicitations.

To make sure your generosity isn’t taken advantage of, the BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance first warned to not respond to emails soliciting donations. Remember, victims and groups aren’t going to know your personal email address so don’t click on those links or give out financial information via email.

The Alliance said you should also avoid giving to brand new charities that spring into existence and when it comes to crowd-funding sites, make sure donations are received and administered by a third party, such as a bank, CPA, or an attorney.

Donors should also first take plenty of time to research a charity or organization. Some good questions to ask:

  • How will my donation be used?
  • When will my donation be used?
  • Is the charity registered or tax-exempt?

The most prominent fundraiser, a GoFundMe page set up by Equality Florida, has already raised more than $2.5 million for the victims and their families.

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