Better Business Bureau warns public of disaster scams

Posted at 10:44 AM, Apr 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-22 11:44:33-04

The tragedy in West is bringing out the very best in the community, but it also brings out those looking to take advantage of the situation. The Better Business Bureau is warning the public to beware of phony solicitations and avoid clicking on suspicious web links in wake of the recent tragedies.

Not long after the Boston Marathon bombings, a charity scam popped up under a fake Twitter account asking account users to retweet information in exchange for a donation. That page was shut down after users noticed it wasn't legitimate.

The Better Business Bureau says if you're looking to donate to a charity to help victims, BBB recommends:

  • Do your homework.  Always research a charity through BBB's Wise Giving Alliance website,, before making a donation.
  • Find a charity yourself.  Rather than being pressured into an on-the-spot donation, BBB recommends choosing a well-known charity or one that has been endorsed by local or state authorities in the aftermath of a tragedy.
  • Confirm text code numbers. If you plan to donate by text message, confirm the text code number directly with the charity. Also, keep in mind that text message donations are typically not immediate. Depending on your cell phone provider, the donation may not show up on your bill for 30 to 90 days
  • Avoid suspicious links. Never click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites or in texts or emails. These may take you to a lookalike website where you will be asked to provide financial information. Also, avoid clicking suspicious links asking you to ‘click here' for ‘never before seen video.' It may lead you to a site where harmful malware could be downloaded on to your computer.