Scammers prey on your generosity at Easter

Easter is a week away. While many people celebrate by coloring eggs, participating in Easter egg hunts or just gathering with family to celebrate, scammers are looking for ways to separate you and your cash this holiday. Your Better Business Bureau offers tips to avoid being scammed this Easter.

According to the National Retail Federation, $14.6 billion is spent annually on Easter-related items. However, people need to be aware of where their hard-earned cash is going. Easter is a time when many people are generous and support charities. Scammers know this and look for ways to exploit this generosity.

Your Better Business Bureau offers these tips:

• Don’t give cash donations. Write a check to the charity and not the person collecting the donation. Never give your credit card number or other personal information in response to unsolicited requests for donations.

• Watch for excessive pressure for on-the-spot donations and appeals long on emotion, but short on describing what a charity does.

• Keep records of your donations with receipts, canceled checks and bank statements to document your giving at tax time.

• Be wary of any charity unwilling to answer questions about its operations, finances and other programs.

• Look at product labels carefully. A reputable, trustworthy organization should disclose a charity name and the amount of sale benefiting the charity.

• Check out websites. Checking online could help you better understand any program involving charitable donations.

• Be skeptical of e-mails or texts from unknown senders. Update your computer with the latest anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Never send credit card donations by e-mail.

• When making a donation online, make sure it’s a secure website. Look for a website with a padlock on the page and the letter “s” in the URL web address box.

If you have any questions regarding charities or the latest scams, get help from your BBB, such as a list of BBB Accredited charities and reviews on ones you’re considering. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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