In the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a number of charities answered the call for help.
While many of the charities are legitimate, others are phony and prey on the fresh emotions of individuals.
"It's sad that scammers would take advantage of generous people after this tragedy, but they do," said Kevin Hinterberger, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central N.C. "We urge you to use caution."
The BBB recommends donors avoid giving to charities or funds through unsolicited phone calls, emails, texts or social media appeals.
The BBB urges donors to:
Do your homework: Always research a charity at the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance website, www.give.org before donating money.
Select a charity yourself: Charity cheats will use every method at their disposal to reach out to generous Americans in times of tragedy. However, rather than replying to a charity appeal, BBB recommends choosing a well-known charity or one that has been endorsed by local or state authorities in the aftermath of a tragedy.
Contact charities directly: 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 financial information, or download harmful malware into your computer.
Donors may contribute to a victims' family fund through a collaborative effort between The United Way and Newtown Savings Bank at: Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470. Donors can also call Or donors can call 1-800-461-0672 or visit https://newtown.uwwesternct.org.
The Newtown Rotary Club also has set up a foundation to manage contributions directly for families at: http://www.newtownctrotary.org/