UPSTATE, S.C. – (WSPA) As we learn more about the nine victims of the Charleston church massacre, many people now want to offer help by giving.
But first, a warning.
We’ve learned scammers are already preying on the tragedy. People are calling, claiming to be with the Charleston Police Department and asking you to send them money. One viewer told us on Facebook that she got a call from someone saying she was being investigating as part of the shooting. These callers are of course not associated with Charleston PD.
The Better Business Bureau of the Upstate says sadly, they’re expecting it.
“Absolutely, it will happen,” said BBB President Vee Daniel. “Funerals would probably be a big one, the cost to help pay for the funeral. Giving the family the cost of if they were in the hospital, the hospital costs. So they use anything that they can use to try to get money.”
Daniel says before you give, check to make sure the charity is registered with the SC Secretary of State.
Ask how the money will be spent and how much the family will actually get.
And never click on links to charities from unfamiliar websites, texts or emails.
Some families of tragedy may also set up funds on their own.
“A good rule of thumb is to make sure they have a third party involved, like a CPA, a bank, that there’s a third party administrator involved,” said Daniel.
Organizations raising funds should also get permission from the families before using their names and pictures.
To check out a charity on the SC Secretary of State’s website, click here.
You can also report suspicious activity to the state. To do so, click here.