It is too bad that this is necessary, but the Better Business Bureau is warning us to watch out for scams set up to capitalize on the desire to support families in Connecticut impacted by last week's school shooting.
We have some tips that will help ensure your donation is put to good use.
The very same day of the Sandy Hook shooting, a fundraising Face Book page was set up in memory of Emilie Parker.
The next day during a press conference Emilie's father mentioned the page.
Over 300,000 people have liked the page since.
An Ogden Utah bank is collecting donations that the family says will be shared with all the families who lost loved ones on December 14th.
"In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy there may be some new organizations springing up," says Janet Robb with the Arkansas Better Business Bureau. "They have not had time to go through a 501-c-3 application process with the IRS. They're most likely not registered with their state Attorney General's office. Sometimes that is required. It doesn't mean that they're bad. It just means that they're new."
Robb with the Arkansas BBB says there are several things you should do before giving to any cause or charity.
First, do some research. Charity Navigator and www.give.org are two places to start.
Be extra suspicious of fundraising phone calls and emails in the aftermath of a tragedy.
Never click a link from an unfamiliar source. It could infect your computer with a virus.
Also ask if the charity is registered and if your donation is tax deductible.
"Know who you are giving your money to," says Robb. "And know that it is going to be used wisely for the purposes that you think it will be. And that is much easier to validate when you're dealing with an established charity."
You can find more giving tips by visiting www.bbb.org.
Air date: December 19th, 2012
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