Sweeten the pot by giving wisely

BBB offers holiday donating advice
Dec 18, 2013

Thousands of generous Washingtonians will open hearts and wallets this holiday season, opening themselves up to scammers in the process.

Cons are employing all sorts of tactics to weasel money away from unsuspecting consumers and Better Business Bureau reminds donors to give wisely.

“This is the time of year when people feel compelled with holiday spirit to reach out and help those less fortunate, said Tyler Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.

“But donations can easily end up in the wrong hands if donors aren’t careful.”

Find a fit. Locate charities that meet specific needs and research how donations will be used; don’t settle for just any charity.

Know the organizations. Check out charities at www.bbb.org/charity before cutting checks; beware of fly-by-night operations with names that are similar to legitimate charities.

Donate directly. Confirm the legitimacy of charities by calling and donating using verified channels; avoid clicking on email links or giving in to phone solicitors.

Maintain paper trails. Avoid wiring money out of the country; make donations payable to organizations—never individuals—and always request receipts.

Secure identities. Never share banking or credit card information with unknown or unexpected solicitors.

The Mobile Giving Foundation gives wireless users safe opportunities to find trustworthy charities where they can make contributions using cellular phones.

Many charities count on end-of-year giving to sustain core programs, making an effort to reduce charity fraud increases donor confidence and directly impacts local communities.

Visit the BBB Scam Stopper and www.give.org for more holiday tips.

-Edited by Beacon staff


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