Many natural disasters have befallen America this spring, thus sparking an interest in charitable donations. Unfortunately, there are scams out there, so it’s important to know how to pick the right organizations to donate to. NY1’s Consumer Watch reporter Asa Aarons filed the following report.
America has turned into disaster central this spring. There have been storms, and now the Mississippi River is flooding and drowning practically everything in its path.
Many have been touched sentimentally, if not physically, by images of the devastation, but the Better Business Bureau warns that compassion can turn into cash for some scam artists.
“When disasters strike, of course we want to give,” says Claire Rosenzweig, the president of Metro New York’s bureau. “And usually, there’s an urgency to give. But what we say is, just take a minute and make sure that the charity that you want to give to is legitimate, and they have the capability to do what they say they want to do.”
Rosenzweig says there are a number of warning signs to look out for.
“Certainly if the charity is just talking about ‘give us money and we’ll donate it for you to other organizations,’ I would be skeptical,” says Rosenzweig.
Overly aggressive, emotional and impatient phone solicitors demanding immediate donations to their organization are not only annoying, but their scam drains away legitimate donations that could be going to a good cause. They may also use unclear language.
“If you’re looking at a charity and you’re seeing claims, oh, ‘100 percent of what we collect goes to the cause,’ just be skeptical because there’s always some cost of doing business,” says Rosenzweig. “Sometimes you’ll see ‘100 percent of the money collected goes to the organization.’ Well, of course it does, but the key thing is make sure that at least 65 percent of what they’re collecting is going to the program.”