Better Business Bureau of Kansas City's guide to avoiding scammers on Giving Tuesday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The warning isn't 'buyer beware,' but 'donors do your digging,' on this Giving Tuesday.

Fraud is a big problem on days such as Giving Tuesday, a day encouraging donations to charities following big shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

As millions of people open their hearts, and wallets, to help others in need, the Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City is warning of scammers online, in person, and over the phone.

"Whenever people are in a more giving mood, that's whenever scammers try to strike. They know that they're going to have a better opportunity to get you to give them money," said Aaron Reese with the BBB of Greater Kansas City.

Here are some tips to avoid scams and ensure donations are going to reputable organizations:

  • Do your research.
  • Don’t be pressured into giving.
  • Never give to someone you don’t trust.
  • Never give cash.

Before making a donation online, Reese said to make sure the organization's programs are listed prominently.

"These are things that the charity should be proud of. They should have their finances listed. They should have their mission statement on there; it should be easily displayed somewhere on their website, probably right up front," said Reese. 

The charity's website should also have a mailing address listed. If it does not, Reese said that could be a red flag.

You can use the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker online to help you check if a charity is real or a scam.

The Federal Trade Commission said to avoid any charity that refuses to provide detailed information about how your donation will be used. Also, beware if the charity won’t provide proof that your donation is tax deductible.

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