Whether it's money, a crowdfunding campaign or other donations, many people are looking for ways to help Ukraine as Russia continues to invade the country, but there are some things to look for to ensure your donation is actually going those in need.
The Better Business Bureau and BBB Wise Giving Alliance reminded donors to watch out for charity and crowdfunding scams.
“Unfortunately, scammers love to use times of tragedy and unrest to take advantage of kind-hearted people," Melanie Duquesnel, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, said in a statement. “We know that everyone wants to help as much and as quickly as they can, but it is so important to take a pause and do your research, so that you do not fall victim to a scam.”
Here are some tips to remember when looking for ways to help Ukraine, according to the BBB:
• If donating money to a crowdfunding platform, it is safest to give to someone you personally know and trust. You should also review the platform's policies regarding fees and the distribution of collected funds.
• If the crowdfunding request comes from a charity, check out the group by visiting Give.org. You can verify a charity's trustworthiness by viewing an evaluative report completed by BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
• When selecting a charity, make sure it's one that already has a presence in Ukraine. Not all relief organizations are in position to provide relief quickly, so it's best to pick a charity that is already doing work in the country.
• Charities have fundraising and administrative expenses. Any charity claiming otherwise is potentially misleading those that are donating. A credit card donation will have a processing fee.
For more information on finding reputable charities or to report a scam, visit bbb.org.