CBS47 On Your Side: Protecting your Creek Fire donations from scammers

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FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – It’s in a time of tragedy when we see the best in people. Strangers open their arms and wallets to those in need but sadly it’s the type of situation scammers prey on.

“People are very generous when someone else is in need, we all want to come help in anyway we can. People are aware of that, scammers are aware of that,” Better Business Bureau President, Blair Looney said.

Cressman’s General Store and Gas is a business that was destroyed due to Creek Fire. A GoFundMe not affiliated with the owners began circulating shortly after.

Cressman’s later posting on their Facebook page a link to the actual GoFundMe account saying “This is the real one!”

Looney says this is just the beginning of spotting scams.

“My projection would be when they announce more than 50% containment when the rebuilding starts to begin for people’s lives, that’s when the scammers come out with their passionate pleas,” Looney said.

According to the Better Business Bureau, there are a few keys to keep in mind:

  • Research the charity organization you’re considering.
  • Ask questions to the person organizing donation efforts.
  • Be leery of those asking for gift cards only.

By taking these precautions, your hard earned money will go toward the cause and not the scam.

The Red Cross is assisting those impacted by the California Wildfires.  You can help. Click this link to donate online:  https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/ksee24-pub.html/

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