CHICAGO (CBS)– As Ukrainians seek refuge amid Russian invasions, many organizations are seeking donations.
With this increase in donation requests, charity scams are becoming a concern. The Better Business Bureau recommends researching before donating.
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“Unfortunately, scammers love to take advantage of times of tragedy and unrest to take advantage of kind-hearted people,” said BBB’s Melanie Duquesnel. “We know everyone wants to help as much and as quickly as possible, but it’s so important to pause and do your research, so you don’t get scammed.”
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The BBB has issued the following advice:
- Can the charity travel to the affected area? Not all relief organizations will be able to provide relief quickly. See if the charity already has a presence in Ukraine.
- Does the charity have experience providing emergency relief? Charities experienced in disaster relief are the best bet to help deliver aid as soon as possible. New entrants may have difficulty keeping up even if they have the best intentions.
- Humanitarian organizations are better equipped to obtain what is needed, distribute it efficiently and avoid duplication of effort.
- Does the appeal make exaggerated financial claims such as “100% will be spent on relief?” Charities have fundraising and administrative expenses. Any charity claiming otherwise risks misleading the public. Even a credit card donation will incur a processing fee.
- Are you considering crowdfunding calls? If you engage in crowdfunding, it’s safest to give to someone you personally know and trust.
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You can also visit the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability website for more information.