The Better Business Bureau and BBB Wise Giving Alliance have provided tips for the public to be wary of potential donation organization scams.
In the wake of the devastation in Moore, Okla. this week, the BBB says more people are likely to give but should research their options first.
"After every natural disaster and manmade catastrophe, we see an outpouring of generosity, along with the inevitable scams and frauds," said Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. "We urge donors to take the time to make sure their donations are going to legitimate charities that can do the most good for those in need."
The BBB suggests to be cautious of online donation outlets through unsolicited spam messages, emails and other posts that claim to link to a relief organization. The best alternative is to go directly to the charity's website.
Also, bloggers and third-party recommendations from websites may not be completely dependable, as the source may not have fully researched the relief organization. Visit www.bbb.org/charity for the BBB list of charities and relief organizations that are BBB accredited and which meet the 20 Standards for Charity accountability.
To donate to a Southern Arizona charity, donations can be made through the BBB Accredited Charity World Care, based in Tucson. There are many Zanes Law or A Family Discount Storage Tucson drop-off locations. Tucson News Now has partnered with World Care to help with the relief effort. Donation items and location information is in the attached link.
Be cautious of organizations that claim 100 percent of funds will be donated for the relief effort, according to a news release. Charities have fundraising and administrative costs, much like a credit card donation involves a processing fee.
The BBB stresses the importance of asking questions. Find out if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas, ask about transportation and distribution plans, and check out if the organization provides direct aid or if it is raising money for other groups.
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