Want to Help the People of Ukraine? Be Careful of Scams!
All our hearts are breaking for Ukraine. Families displaced, many killed and devastation throughout the country due to the Russian military invasion. It's times like these that we all want to help, but watch out as all may not be as it seems.
The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan (BBB®) is warning those who want to help by supporting charities that are raising funds for assistance. There lies the problem as the people of Ukraine are going through very scary and hard times.
The President and CEO of the BBB Western Michigan, Lisa Frohnapfel, says:
“Unfortunately, bad actors often try to take advantage of people’s good will. You want to make sure your donation is used as intended, so it is important to take some time and make sure the charity you are working with can deliver on their promises and support.”
The BBB says be careful before you donate and ask these questions.
• Can the charity get to the impacted area?
• Should you send clothing and food? Local drives to collect clothing and food to send overseas may not be practical.
• Does the relief charity meet BBB Charity Standards? You can verify a charity’s trustworthiness by viewing an evaluative report completed by BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
• Is the charity experienced in providing emergency relief?
• Are you considering crowdfunding appeals? If engaging in crowdfunding, it is safest to give to someone you personally know and trust, and review the platform’s policies regarding fees and distribution of collected funds. If the crowdfunding request is from a charity, check out the group by visiting Give.org.
• Does the appeal make exaggerated financial claims such as “100% will be spent on relief.” Charities have fundraising and administrative expenses. Any charity claiming otherwise is potentially misleading the public. Even a credit card donation will have a processing fee.
Those interested in providing a helping hand can donate to one of the following trusted organizations online.
Pay attention, do your research, and you will be able to help make a difference.
15 Ways You Can Help People in Ukraine Right Now