ROANOKE, Va. – The holidays are a time to be thankful and give back to those less fortunate, but the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Virginia wants everyone to be careful and know where their money is going, especially on Giving Tuesday.
The bureau advises people to beware of charities posted on social media, fake websites or phishing emails or texts.
If charities ask you to wire money or pay in gift cards or cash, that’s a red flag that it could be a scam.
Bureau officials also recommend that if you want to donate to a nonprofit, you should do your homework and research before donating to make sure the charities are legitimate.
The bureau’s president, Julie Wheeler, said nonprofits will need donations just as much in a week or a month, so there is no need to feel rushed or pressured.
“It doesn’t all have to be today or next week. You know, you can take your time and make sure that you’re giving your money to a cause that means something to you so that it is actually going to do good,” said Wheeler.
If you are not sure if a charity is real, you can contact the Better Business Bureau by phone or visit the BBB Wise Giving Alliance website. You can also contact the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which requires that charities register with the Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs before soliciting in Virginia.