How to Avoid Getting Scammed by Fake Wildfire Fundraisers

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What to Know

  • Scammers are targeting kindness as residents look to donate money to help those affected by wildfires.
  • Several websites can help.
  • See a list of tips below.

A natural response to tragedies is to help in any way we can. And that often means donating money. But unfortunately, scammers know this and take advantage of it. In fact, it’s already happening.

A viewer from our Wildfires Facebook group said she received a call from someone saying he was with the Firefighters and EMS Fund. After becoming suspicious and asking questions, and the caller hung up.

Before giving money to a fundraiser or charity, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • It’s best to donate using a check or credit card. If someone asks for gift cards or wire transfers - don’t do it.
  • Don’t count on crowdfunding sites to vet the people raising money - they often don’t.
  • Scammers use fake charity names that sound like real ones. So be sure to research a charity if you’re not familiar with it.
  • Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers can make it look like the call is coming from a legitimate organization.
  • If someone is rushing you to make a decisions - that’s a red flag.
  • Ask questions. If the answers are dodgy, that’s suspicious.

Helpful websites where you can research charities:

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