Residents warned of more donation scams
Jan 02, 2013 (The Reidsville Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Weeks after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, another series of charity scams are going through the Rockingham area. The Better Business Bureau warns that people have been calling local residents, pretending to be collecting money on behalf of the victims' families.
That was the word from Kevin Hinterberger, president of the Central North Carolina Better Business Bureau. He cautioned for people to be careful of unsolicited phone calls, emails, texts or Facebook and Twitter messages calling for contributions.
"In any tragedy, it seems people, especially here in the Triad, are looking to help," Hinterberger said. "We unfortunately have people who want to take advantage of that."
Hinterberger said over the last few weeks, his office received several calls from people asking where they could donate money and what groups were legitimate. Currently there are two groups set up to handle donations. The first is a joint effort between the United Way and the Newtown Savings Bank. The Newtown Rotary Club also set up a foundation to manage contributions directly at www.newtownctrotary.org. Concerned residents can also call 1-800-461-0672.
Before giving money to any other operation, Hinterberger warned, people need to heed several signs of a possible scam.
"Unsolicited emails and phone calls are red flags,"Hinterberger said, adding that especially in the first week after a tragedy, a charity organization would not make direct calls asking for money. In addition, he encouraged people to go online to the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance website, www.give.org, and check to see if the organization they're looking at is represented. Hinterberger also said that people should never click on links to charities in an email or a text. In many of these cases, the link actually takes the person to a look-alike website, while at the same time infecting your computer with a virus.
To contribute to the United Way/Newtown Savings Bank project, residents can send funds to Sandy Hook School Support Fund c/o Newtown Savings Banks, 39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470. There is also a website for the project at https://newtown.uwwesternct.org.
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