Check charities' legitimacy before donating to Irene victims

Reply Tue 30 Aug, 2011 08:36 am
August 29, 2011
Check charities' legitimacy before donating to Irene victims
By Claudia Buck | McClatchy Newspapers

SACRAMENTO, Calif - SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Disasters like Hurricane Irene often bring out the best in people who want to help victims. But they often entice scam artists, who prey on people's good intentions.

SACRAMENTO, Calif - If you're considering a donation to hurricane victims - or to anyone afflicted by a natural disaster, the Better Business Bureau advises checking to be sure the charitable group is legitimate.

"No matter how well intentioned a donor's gift is, scammers will always be present to capitalize on kindness," said Gary Almond, president of the Northeast California Better Business Bureau, based in West Sacramento, Calif.

To ensure your donation goes to a legitimate charity, the BBB and California attorney general's office offer these tips:

-Avoid high-pressure requests to donate, especially by phone or from door-to-door solicitors.

-Beware of charities reluctant to answer questions about their work or finances.

-Beware of groups with similar-sounding names to well-known groups or causes.

-Do not give cash. Checks should be made out to the organization, not an individual.

-Never give your credit card or Social Security number to a charity soliciting by email.

-Before donating, check the charity's record at http://www.bbb.org/charity.

The American Red Cross is accepting donations for victims of Hurricane Irene and other disasters at www.redcross.org .

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/08/29/122494/check-charities-legitimacy-before.html#ixzz1WWTzu7nO
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