You may have seen reports of the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard. Dozens of sailors fled the burning ship and lost all their possessions. When a distressing event like this happens, many folks look for ways to help. But you also want to make sure your money gets to the people you want to help. In this case, scammers are making that more difficult. Officials at Naval Base Coronado have sounded the alarm about fake crowdfunding pages trying to take advantage of the crisis.
Here are some tips to help you donate wisely:
- Don’t assume solicitations on crowdfunding sites are legitimate. It might be impossible for you to know if the cause is real and if the money actually gets to the intended recipient. Even if posts have been shared on social media or liked by your friends, don’t assume that the fundraiser is legitimate or that the hyperlinks are accurate. Do your own research. Call your friends or contact them offline to ask them about the post they shared.
- Crowdfunding sites are not charities, and donations to individuals are not tax deductible. If tax deductions are important to you, keep that in mind.
- Donate to charities you know and trust with a proven track record.
- If you’d like to donate to help the displaced Bonhomme sailors, Navy officials are directing donors to give to USO San Diego and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.