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Here's how to avoid natural disaster donation scams

Some people may use your generosity to try and scam you. Here is what to look out for.

WASHINGTON — It is hard to not see the images of devastation from Kentucky and not want to help. If you want to donate, there are many different options.

But, keep an eye out for people trying to take advantage of your generosity. We verified a few quick ways to avoid disaster donation scams.

OUR SOURCES:

DO RESEARCH

First, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises that you do a little research on the charity you choose.

For ideas on which charities are legitimate, you can go to GIVE.org to find BBB-trusted charities.

BE WARY OF CROWDFUNDING

Another big one the BBB reports to be skeptical of is online crowdfunding campaigns.  

Campaigns set up on sites like GoFundMe do very little vetting of the people who set up the campaigns.

GIVE MONEY

BBB advises that you give money rather than goods. It helps faster and offers charities flexibility.

BE WARY OF THE 100% PLEDGE

It sounds nice but be skeptical of any charity promising that 100% of its donations help victims and families. Every organization has some overhead.  

DESIGNATE THE DISASTER

Finally, when you do find somewhere to donate, the FTC reminds you to designate the disaster relief you want your money to help. Otherwise, the money could just go to a general fund.

Follow these pointers and you have a better chance that your money goes where it’s needed.

After you donate, check to see the money went where it was supposed to go. Transparent organizations will post on their websites. Others may have to wait until they release audited financial statements.

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