BOSTON (CBS) – The horrible images from the Australian wildfires that have killed at least 25 people and possibly more than a billion animals have sparked an international outpouring of support. But before writing a check or pulling out your credit card to help, the Better Business Bureau is urging people to watch out for scams.
“Amidst terrible public tragedies, such as the recent wildfires in Australia, scammers attempt to take advantage of people’s generosity,” the BBB’s Boston chapter tweeted Wednesday. “Be sure to use caution before donating.”READ MORE: Spring Is Here: Near Record Warm Temps This Week, More Day Light Coming
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Amidst terrible public tragedies, such as the recent wildfires in Australia, scammers attempt to take advantage of people's generosity. Be sure to use caution before donating and check out these #tips from the #BBB Wise Giving Alliance: https://t.co/nca5fFU2gs
— Boston BBB (@BBBConnection) January 8, 2020
If you want to make a donation to help Australia, the BBB recommends first checking the registry of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission. Charities appearing on this list aren’t necessarily endorsed by the government, but it does mean they’ve filed appropriate paperwork.
Prospective donors can look at Give.org, a BBB website, if they want to check charity ratings. The BBB also warns people to be extra cautious when giving to crowdfunding websites because the vetting process may be weak.
“Watch out for vague appeals that don’t identify the intended use of funds. For example, how will the donations help victims’ families?” the BBB says.MORE NEWS: These Are The Most Popular Dog Names In Boston, According To Licensing Data
CBS News has compiled a list of ways to help evacuees, firefighters and wildlife.