GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — In the wake of the mass shooting at Michigan State University, many people are looking to donate to the Spartan community. The Better Business Bureau is warning to make sure you know who or what you’re giving to.
“Unfortunately, scammers often take advantage of these moments of vulnerability to deceive donors,” the BBB wrote in a release. “In addition, there are often campaigns set up by well-meaning individuals who may not be able to deliver on promised relief.”
To make sure your money is going to the right place, the BBB advises you do your research. Give.org keeps a record of national charities that meet the BBB standards for Charitable Accountability. GoFundMe is a BBB Accredited Business and carefully screens, vets and manages postings. Other similar websites might not, the BBB said.
Some indicators to look out for are if the photos have been used without permission, if there are vague descriptions that don’t identify exactly where the funds will go or if a charity is newly formed. Never click on shared links to unfamiliar charity websites, the BBB warns. It may take you somewhere else that is a look-alike website.
Another red flag is if an organization claims to be a charity but isn’t registered with the Charitable Trust Section through the Attorney General’s office.
The BBB said to be aware that sending funds to help a specific individual or charity are not tax-deductible donations.
More information about safely donating after a tragedy can be found on the BBB website.