Charity scams: How you can avoid being duped

Charity scams: How you can avoid being duped
American Cancer Society's Benjamin Banning said the organization tells people to be cautious when donating to cancer awareness groups.

We walk to raise money, we donate and we buy and wear pink ribbons to help fund breast cancer awareness and research.

But some people pretend to be from legitimate organizations — and maybe even use the pink ribbon logo — to get your money and pocket it for themselves.

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Benjamin Banning with the local chapter of the American Cancer Society said it’s unfortunate.

“There are so many that that’s not even a thought in their mind that somebody would do that,” he said. “So we always just tell people to be aware, be cautious and be informed on where you are giving your money and who you are donating to.”

You can also get duped when a percentage of proceeds from a purchase are to be donated because some businesses cap what they will donate.

John North of the Better Business Bureau said that there’s also something called “pinkwashing” to look out for.

“Organizations who sell products that are a problem or are known to cause breast cancer, but then they are being good guys in promoting breast cancer awareness organizations,” North said.

The BBB said you need to research before buying or donating.

Make sure to get the charity’s exact name and be wary of high-pressure and overly emotional appeals.

You should also ask questions and check the charity’s website for legitimacy.

North said to check out bbb.org or the BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator to find out more about organizations you’re donating to.