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After the shopping rush comes ‘Giving Tuesday.’ Give wisely to avoid scammers, BBB warns

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 3:18 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are here, signaling the holiday season is in full swing.

But another day that closely follows the major shopping days is ‘Giving Tuesday’ — a chance for communities to show kindness and support local charities. And despite the good intention of the day, folks at the Better Business Bureau are reminding Americans that scammers can target anyone, including those seeking to give this holiday season.

Giving Tuesday happens right after Cyber Monday and is a movement that helped raise more than $1 billion for online charities since its inception in 2012.

Experts say it’s important to know exactly who you’re donating to.

“We do know that there are bad actors out there who will attempt to take advantage of the situation and take money that’s meant for a charity and redirecting it into their own pockets,” Roseann Freitas of the BBB said. “So right now what people really need to be focused on is finding the charity of their choice.”

When asked about what consumers should be aware of when making donations, Freitas said to do a your homework before making the decision.

“Make sure you’ve thought it through and that you’re donating not based on just emotion but on rational thoughts so that you’re giving it to the right organization and not to a scammer who is feeding you a song and dance and really appealing to your emotions.”

Other tips directly from the BBB website to avoid being scammed include:

  • Watch out for name similarities: When charities seek support for the same cause, their names are often similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
  • Review the website carefully: A responsible charity will include the following facts on its website: its mission and programs, measurable goals, and concrete criteria that describe its achievements. You should also be able to find information on their finances. Keep in mind, the type of work a charity does will affect its costs.
  • Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations: The holidays bring a higher frequency of donation requests outside public locations. Don’t succumb to pressure to make an immediate giving decision. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.

For more information about what scams to look out for during this holiday season, click here.

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