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Avoiding charity scams

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:19 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It’s the season to give and the Better Business Bureau is offering tips on how to avoid charity scams.

The most important thing is to do some research. The Better Business Bureau’s charity wing, gift.org, has hundreds of charities. Many are accredited, which means they meet specific criteria the bureau sets.

“If they are accredited with organizations like the Better Business Bureau, they will have charity reports where you can see exactly what criteria, as far as what they spend their money on and what portion of their money goes towards the actual cause,” said Britta Clark with the Better Business Bureau.

Some red flags to be on the lookout for include:

- Charities that offer something in return for donations. These could include things like tickets to something or gift cards.

- Charities asking for gift cards or wire transfers as donations.

- Charities being held through Kickstarter or another crowdsourcing app.

- Charities soliciting you on social media.

The bureau also says to make sure you never donate what you’re not willing to lose.

“If you see somebody on the side of the street who’s asking for money, or you see an organization online that’s asking for money, don’t donate more than you’re comfortable losing, should that money end up lost in the internet void or not going towards the organization that you think it will”

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