Jim Hegarty, head of the Better Business Bureau in Omaha-Council Bluffs, is warning Iowans to stay watchful for con artists.
Hegarty says, “Offshore scammers are already setting up fictitious sites, they’re sending bogus emails and often, when we see a tragedy like this, we’ll see click-bait used to download malware into people’s systems.” He says steer clear of online videos that claim to have new information on the shootings and if you do want to give money, stick with organizations you’ve dealt with before.
“Make your contributions to well-known, established charities,” he says, “and it would be best if you initiate the gift yourself, call the charity.” The Better Business Bureau maintains a website that’s devoted to helping people sort out legitimate charitable organizations from those that are questionable.
“Give-dot-org provides people with charitable accountability information on charities that operate all over the country,” Hegarty says. “Look at the charity. Check out their review and make sure they’re meeting the charitable accountability standards you’d want them to meet before supporting them.” He says to be very careful as a host of “Go Fund Me” efforts are showing up on social media in the past week and they aren’t likely all reputable.