GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The Better Business Bureau is warning people to avoid scams when donating to awareness and research charities during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In the last year, the BBB says, it has received about 88,000 inquiries about various charities in the U.S. and Canada.
But not all charities are legitimate. The BBB offers several tips to make sure your donation is going to a reputable charity.
- Donate via check rather than cash.
- Write checks to charities rather than individuals.
- Do not give personal information to people with unsolicited donation requests.
- Be wary of donation requests that are high-pressure and don't adequately describe the work of the charity.
- Be wary if a charity refuses to answer questions about their operations, finances and programs.
- Keep records of donations with receipts, canceled checks and bank statements for tax purposes.
- Carefully read product labels like those on pink ribbon products. They should include the charity name and the percentage of the sale going to charity.
- Research donations online.
- Confirm corporate sponsors, which are often listed in charities' websites.
- Be wary of people claiming to be from national breast cancer charities. The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month says it doesn't solicit contributions and hasn't authorized the use of its name for solicitation.
- Contact charities directly to confirm solicitations.
The BBB will also provide a list of accredited charities upon request.
Go to BBB.org or call 616.774.8236 or 800.684.3222.
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