Watch out for charity scams in wake of the Orlando shooting

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Orlando Club Owner Will Rebuild 'Pulse' In Honor Of Shooting Victims

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, many want to help victims and their families by giving donations. Unfortunately, scammers may try to take advantage of their kindness.

"Scammers depend on heightened emotion and often follow closely behind tragic events," Holly Salmons, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central Florida, said in a press release.

In these situations, crowdfunding sites can be set up quickly to collect donations. Because these sites aren't generally vetted, anyone may be able to set one up, including scammers, which we saw following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Better Business Bureau expects we'll see fraudulent sites and other scams appear in the wake of the Orlando shooting.

"We are already hearing about clickbait schemes and questionable solicitations, and we expect there will be numerous scams and frauds," H. Art Taylor, the President and CEO of Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, said in the release. "We urge those generous donors to give wisely so their gifts can do the most good."

If you are considering making a donation to the Orlando shooting victims, the Better Business Bureau encourages you to be safe online. Don't click on links you aren't familiar with, and be sure to check the URL for accuracy. Scammers often register a misspelled version of a popular website to lure people who hit the wrong key. (You can read more about how to spot an internet scam here.)

Here are a few other things you should be aware of:

  • Vague Appeals: If the site doesn't explain how they intend to use the funds being donated or say when they'll be used, the Better Business Bureau says it's a red flag.
  • Government Registration: The majority of states require charities register with a state government agency before soliciting, so be sure you're giving to a registered charity.
  • Family Funds: Families may set up their own assistance fund, so it won't be registered with the government, but the Better Business Bureau says to make sure the money is received and administered by a third party (like a bank, CPA or lawyer), as this will help ensure the funds are used appropriately.
  • Transparency: A charity should clearly account for the funds they receive and how they're spent after they're raised.

If you think you've fallen victim to a scam, you may want to notify authorities. And, particularly if you've turned over sensitive personal information, you may want watch for any signs of identity theft, which can include a sudden drop in your credit scores, mysterious accounts being opened in your name and unknown addresses appearing on your credit report. (You can view two of your credit scores, updated each month, for free on Credit.com.)

Related Articles

This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

RELATED: LGBT pride month and pride events in wake of Orlando shooting
17 PHOTOS
LGBT pride month, pride events in wake of Orlando shooting
See Gallery
Watch out for charity scams in wake of the Orlando shooting
Mourners gather under a LGBT pride flag flying at half-mast for a candlelight vigil in remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, from San Diego, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies are seen behind a girl riding in a bus at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, after a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
A man carries a sign supporting both the Orlando shooting victims and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, following the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
Chris Hemming (L) and Tristan Davison join in a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub during a Pride Month block party in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
People take part in the March of Equality, organized by LGBT and human rights activists in Kiev, Ukraine, June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: Women hold onto each other during a brief moment of silence to kick off the annual DC Pride Festival on Pennsylvania Ave. June 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 12: James Sharif, 24, of Alexandria, VA, said about the Orlando shooting, 'I think its a shame that people are doing this to wonderful people Hopefully people will begin to love wholly and all this hate will stop' at the DC Pride Festival June 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - 2016/06/12: Participants take part at the Gay Pride parade in Kiev, Ukraine. Representatives of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) organizations and their supporters took part in the peaceful 'Equality March'.The purpose of the parade is to overcome discrimination and achieve equality for all social groups and minorities in Ukraine. (Photo by Vasyl Shevchenko/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A large LGBT pride flag flies at half-mast during a candlelight vigil in remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, from San Diego, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Kristen Jaeger holds a sign of remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
Brandon Joyce carries a sign of remembrance for mass shooting victims in Orlando, at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
A woman looks out her window with the Gay pride flag hanging during a vigil for the Orlando massacre victims in the Queens borough of New York, U.S., June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Ciaran Lithgow of Washington, DC holds a sign of condolence for victims of the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early this morning in Washington June 12, 2016. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
A parade marcher holds a sign in memory of the victims of the attack on a gay night club in Orlando, Florida at the 46th annual Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
A man waves a rainbow flag in front of two Boston Police vehicles outside a Pride Month block party in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 12, 2016 the same day as the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A Boston Police Officer stands behind flowers left at a Pride Month block party, the same day as the mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION
Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners