HONOLULU (KHON2) — With the recent attack against a town in southern Israel and the subsequent Israeli response, many people want to help those impacted by the crisis.

Roseann Freitas who is the Public Relations and Communications Manager with the Better Business Bureau Great West + Pacific talks to KHON2 about how to spot a scam and how to stay safe as you extend good will.

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There are pointers for some of the things people need to look for when trying to support those affected by this war. First and foremost, you must find out if the charity that you are going to give your money and/or resources to can get into the impacted area.

There are lots of places that are not open to anyone including relief agencies and non-profits.

So, look for these things when you are wanting to give:

  • Find out if the charity already has a presence in the area(s).
  • Know that not all relief organizations will be positioned to provide relief quickly.
  • There are scammers who will try to take advantage of the donor’s emotions.
  • Always watch out for social media appeals. These are not always legitimate
  • Determine what the logistics are for sending items overseas.
  • It is not usually practical to send items because of logistics and timing.
  • Remember that monetary donations to relief organizations make the biggest impact.
  • Always vet the charity.
  • Look for an experienced disaster relief charity.

Some people prefer to enter into the world of crowdfunding to provide support. In order to be the safest you can possibly be, ensure that it is someone you know personally. Do not go for one that is the friend of a friend of friend. These cannot always be relied upon to be legitimate.

While some crowdsourcing sites make a concerted effort to verify the legitimacy of their funding opportunities, not all sites do.

It is important to understand that it is impossible for any charity to promise and follow through with giving 100% of your donations to the persons in need. This is because all charities have fundraising and administrative expenses that must be covered in order to keep them in operation. This includes fees for credit and debit card donations.

So, ask questions about how they can do the work without paying expenses.

However, in all of this chaos, there is a way to verify if the charitable organization is legitimate. All you have to do is click here.

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That link takes you the BBB page that is dedicated to verifying charities and doing its best to protect consumers.