Beat the burn of phony fundraisers for Australia fire efforts

8News Digital Exclusive

GLEN ALLEN, Va (WRIC-TV) — From afar and from a phone, people at home can donate to causes assisting response to wildfires in Australia.

8News is taking action to ensure donors don’t get burned by phony fundraisers, something the Better Business Bureau cautions.

“Don’t just go to a pretty website and start donating money,” BBB Central Virginia President and CEO Barry Moore said.

Central Virginia’s BBB operation recommends that donors first research the validity of a charity and their website give.org can aid in the process.

Domestic charities approved by the BBB for meeting standards include the American Red Cross, Global Giving and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Moore recommends staying away from ‘crowdfunding’ sources like GoFundMe.

“Go to, directly to, a charity that’s approved and give the money for the crisis through the charity. Not that there’s anything wrong necessarily with crowdfunding. It’s just there is no vetting that really can be done with that.”

Barry Moore, President & CEO Better Business Bureau – Central Virginia

The BBB indicated that it wouldn’t hurt donors from telling their bank of their donation, prior to it being given.

“It’s a wise thing to call them (the bank) first and say ‘I intend to give $500, $1,000, $2,000 to this particular thing at this particular time.'”

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