CINCINNATI — Many have been opening up their hearts and wallets since the tornadoes devastated western Kentucky and Illinois last Friday night.
It's tough to see those pictures of wiped-out towns and not want to help in some way. But Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the Better Business Bureau are issuing a warning for consumers to beware of charity scams. The BBB is warning people to be on the lookout for emails and calls asking you to donate to the victims.
The warning said to check out the claims of any GoFundMe request to help victims, especially with hundreds popping up in the past few days.
The BBB said:
- Never give money to a group you haven't heard of and checked out.
- If you are unsure, go with the American Red Cross or Salvation Army, which assist after every major catastrophe.
- If a charity contacts you, check them out first at the Better Business Bureau's Give.org site, or at Guidestar.org, or Charity Navigator.org.
- If it is a legitimate group, such as the Red Cross, you can also look to see how much of your money actually goes to the cause, compared with similar charities.
Kiplinger Personal Finance has a lengthy report on legitimate charities you may want to consider.
Also, beware of any phone call or door-to-door appeal asking you to donate on the spot. You can't be sure the person calling is really with the agency they claim to work for.
So check them out, so you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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