Consumers need to be alert for fake pleas for charitable donations related to the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
Phony charity solicitations, supposedly on behalf of the families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown on Friday, are already being reported, according to the Better Business Bureau of Connecticut.
The BBB recommends donors avoid giving to charities or funds through unsolicited phone calls, emails, texts, or social media appeals. The BBB also advises:
- Do your homework. Always research charities with the BBB at www.bbb.org before donating money. Your local BBB can provide information on charities it has information on, even if based in other areas such as Connecticut.
- Select a charity yourself. Charity cheats will use every method at their disposal to reach out to generous Americans in times of tragedy. However, rather than replying to a charity appeal, the BBB recommends choosing a well-known charity or one that has been endorsed by local or state authorities in the aftermath of a tragedy.
- Contact charities directly. 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, or download harmful malware into your computer.
Donors may contribute to a victims’ family fund through The United Way and Newtown Savings Bank. Donations may be sent to:
Sandy Hook School Support Fund, c/o Newtown Savings Banks, 39 Main Street Newtown, CT 06470 or by calling 800-461-0672 or donating online to www.newtown.uwwesternct.org.
The Newtown Rotary Club has also set up a foundation to manage contributions directly for the families at www.newtownctrotary.org.