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Planning to donate to tornado victims? Be aware of scammers

Central Ohio Better Business Bureau says be careful of people or organizations looking to scam donors during natural disasters.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For those looking to help tornado victims through donations, make sure the organization you’re giving to is legitimate.

The Central Ohio Better Business Bureau says there are several ways to verify reputable organizations beforehand.

President Judy Dollison says not to click on links sent to your phone, email, or even social media. Crowdfunding websites are typically set up by people and not organizations.

“It's important to keep in mind that there's very little vetting of the crowdfunding sites that organizations are legitimate,” said Dollison. “You just have to use some caution when you are looking at crowdfunding sites and doing some independent research is always good.”

Dollison says a red flag to watch out for is if the site information about how they're going to use the funds is vague or not listed.

“We encourage donations,” said Dollison. “Of course, everyone wants to help victims of tragedies, but it's best to do it safely and you want to make sure that your money is truly going to the right, the cause that you want to support.”

Central Ohio BBB has a website that shows a list of charities that meet the BBB accountability standards.

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