COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After a disaster or public tragedy, like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, people want to help any way they can. That often means contributing to charities or fundraisers. 

Sadly, scammers often take advantage of these moments of vulnerability. 

You may want to help with donations, but it’s important to know where your money is going to avoid those seeking to take advantage of your generosity. 

The Better Business Bureau offers some tips to keep in mind before you give: 

  • Does the charity have access to the impacted area? Not all relief organizations are positioned to provide relief quickly. 
  • Give money rather than goods. Donating money is the quickest way to help and provides charities the flexibility to channel resources to impacted areas. 
  • Is the charity experienced in providing emergency relief? New or recently established organizations may have difficulty in following through, even if they have the best intentions. 
  • What about crowdfunding? If you’re considering a crowdfunding donation, such as a GoFundMe, keep in mind that some sites may not thoroughly vet an organization requesting relief or financial assistance. 
  • And as always, 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 has a list of accredited, nationally-soliciting charities. You can also find more helpful tips on the best ways to donate.