It happens after many major tragic events: scammers. As donations pour in for victims of Saturday’s synagogue shooting, the FBI warns that fake organizations have solicited people for donations.
FBI Pittsburgh Assistant Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough said several scammers are already on the bureau’s radar and that they’re working to remove them. Still, he said it’s best to do research about groups before giving.
“Be cautious of those individuals representing themselves as actual victims,” he said. “And do due diligence in ensuring that those they’re providing the funds to are reputable.”
Online charity navigator tools use 990 IRS forms to confirm the identity and legitimacy of organizations and can also trace where the donated money actually goes. Usually, he said, previously unknown places calling themselves charities are more likely to be scams than well-known organizations.
“I want to encourage everyone to do their research,” he said. “Don’t make [yourself] a victim as part of this tragic event.”
When giving, he suggested using credit or debit cards rather than cash.