GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — According to the Better Business Bureau Before donating to victims of the bombing in Boston, investigate the charity.
According to the Domains, an industry news site about online domain names, more than 125 names relating to the Boston Marathon explosions have been registered since Monday-many disguised to look like money-raising charities but actually created for self gain.
Reports have surfaced about a man who created a fake Boston Marathon twitter promising to donate $1 for Boston Marathon victims for every retweet. Twitterers noticed that the account was brand new, wasn’t verified and had a suspicious lack of followers. The account (with its creator still unknown) has since been suspended.
BBB reminds West Michigan residents who want to help to check out the charity to avoid wasting your gift on a questionable or poorly managed effort.
The State Attorney General’s office must approve and register any organization before they may legally solicit for charitable gifts. Check out any potential charity through BBB.org and the Michigan Attorney General’s office.
Watch out for vague appeals that don’t identify the intended use of funds. For example, how will the donations help victims’ families? What percentage of the money raised is going to that purpose?
Never click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites or in texts or emails. These may take you to a lookalike website where you will be asked to provide personal financial information or to click on something that downloads harmful malware into your computer.
An established charity will more likely have the experience to quickly address the circumstances and have a track record that can be evaluated. A newly formed organization may be well-meaning but will be difficult to check out and may not be well-managed.
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