Saturday, November 11, is Veterans Day and your BBB would like to warn tristate area residents about the dangers of donating to an organization that you may not know much about. As you are looking to honor service members through a donation, we urge you to use caution and to follow these steps before writing a check:
Sometimes, fraudsters will set up fake charities in an effort to get your money, so make sure to take your time, read the ad carefully and if you aren’t sure about their organization, you can always check give.org or call your BBB to find out more!
If you’ve decided that this charity is indeed one that has a good track record, don’t hesitate to contact them and ask questions like: Where would my money go? How much money will go to veterans and how much money will go somewhere else? And these questions are very important since some organizations will spend most of their funds on human resources, for example, and not on research, charity work etc.
If you feel that you are being pressured into donating money, please know that a reputable charity will never use high-pressure tactics. You may also watch out for stories that pull at your heartstrings – scammers sometimes try to come up with emotional stories to get you to open your heart and wallet at the same time.
When making an online donation, check to see if the URL starts with https, where s stands for secure. This is a sign that you are navigating a secure website.
And remember: giving is an act of kindness and no one has to right to guilt you into donating money. If at any point you don’t feel comfortable with how the discussion is going, close the door, hang up and contact your BBB!
This Veterans Day, remember to say thank you to a service member and if you want to donate to a good cause, don’t forget to check give.org first!