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Better Business Bureau Offers Giving Advice for Nepal Earthquake Relief

Posted by  Monday, 27 Apr 2015 05:04 PM

After the devastating earthquake in Nepal this past weekend, many people will want to make contributions to help the victims. The easiest and most common way that people can help is by making donations to disaster relief agencies and charities that are experienced at working with disaster victims.

As with every natural disaster, there are unscrupulous people who will attempt to take advantage of your generosity.

“When these disasters occur many will feel helpless yet want to do something in support of the recovery efforts. Making a charitable donation is often the first action people will take,” said Warren Clark, president of Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York. “Unfortunately, scammers will also try to take advantage of generous donors.”

If you want to help the victims of the Nepal earthquake and other relief efforts, BBB of Upstate New York offers the following advice:

  • Check the charity out. Before making your donation, go to bbb.org to obtain detailed reports on relief organizations and charities. BBB offers Charity Review information about hundreds of charities and many will meet BBB’s Standards for Charity Accountability. 
  • Look for experience. Give to charities that are experienced in disaster relief. While other charities may solicit donations for earthquake relief, these organizations may not have the ability to quickly deliver aid to those in need.
  • Avoid the name game. Watch out for fake charities that imitate the name of well-known organizations in order to confuse donors. Look-alike and sound-alike charities pop up on the Internet following disasters.
  • Give to tax-exempt charities. To ensure your contribution is tax deductible, donations should be made to charitable organizations that are tax exempt, 501(c)(3) charities.
  • Watch out for heartstring stories. Beware of emotional appeals that do not address how the charity will meet the needs of victims and their families.
  • Never send by wire transfer. Avoid any requests for cash donations or to send money via wire transfer. Checks or money orders should be made out to the name of the charitable organization, not to the individual collecting the donation.
  • Protect your personal information. Do not give your credit card number or other personal information to a telephone solicitor or in response to an e-mail solicitation.

For scam alerts, tips and other information you can trust, visit bbb.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 112 local, independent BBBs across North America, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB serving Upstate New York was founded in 1923 and serves 48 counties.

BBB now includes complaint detail and customer reviews in BBB Business Reviews. To view consumer experiences, click on the BBB Business Review, then on these individual tabs. 

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