COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Following a string of deadly mass shootings and the ongoing war in Ukraine, many are feeling inspired to help, by making donations to the people directly affected. However, scammers are banking on that, creating fake websites and fundraisers to get their hands on your money.

Both the FBI and the Better Business Bureau have put out warnings, urging concerned donors to take the appropriate steps to avoid questionable appeals, that seek to take advantage of that generosity.

Here are some things to consider, according to both agencies:

  • Does the charity have access to the impacted area? Not all relief organizations are positioned to provide relief quickly.
  • Is the charity experienced? New or recently established organizations may have difficulty in following through, even if they have the best intentions.
  • While money offers more options to help, rather than goods, don’t send payments to an unknown person or agency without doing your research first.
  • Use caution online. Never click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites. They may take you to a look-alike, imposter website, where you will be asked to provide personal financial information.

If you want to help by donating, but don’t know where to begin, the BBB offers advice here.

The FBI also offers advice here on what you can do if you think you gave to a suspicious or fraudulent charity.