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When Giving to OK Victims, BBB Warns of Scams
DAYTON -- After hearing all the stories of loss and devastation out of Oklahoma, it is natural to want to help out the victims.
"Oh, it's just horrific. Immediately, our hearts say what as a community can we do?" said Pastor Bruce Jackson, who says a big space inside the First Grace Brethren Church is ready to be filled with items to help those devastated by the deadly twister.
They've done it before, helping out Superstorm Sandy victims last fall.
"Mobilize people from the area in tandem with some that we brought and they actually took the relief directly to the people."
Churches such as First Grace is exactly what the Better Business Bureau says you should go with. They know exactly what the people in the affected area need because they speak with the churches in their network."
"Every nickel that's given through the Dayton-area community will go through First Grace directly to the needs of the people in Oklahoma. And we stake our integrity as a ministry on that proposition," said Jackson.
When tragedy strikes, the BBB is on alert.
"Scammers take it as an opportunity to go into business, unfortunately they want to take advantage of our generosity," said Sheri Sword, with the Dayton-area BBB.
She says the charity should be registered with the Attorney General's office, and preferably the BBB. And beware of vague appeals that don't explain where the money's going. Also, never click on unfamiliar links. It could be a virus, or if you enter your info it could be the first step in stealing your identity. And finally, be cautious when donating to newly established charities.
"They may have the best intentions, and the biggest heart, and want to help but they may not be established yet to be able to use your funds, your donations, efficiently and quickly to address the concerns," said Sword.
With so many people in need, Pastor Jackson says as soon as Oklahoma's ready for the help, they'll be there.
"Every time we give, we need to keep in mind, we don't know what tomorrow's bringing."
If you're interested in helping out, click here.
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