In the early morning of June 12, a gunman terrorized a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 50 people and injuring at least 53 more.
The Orlando shooting is the worst mass shooting in modern United States history, and making things worse is that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the brutal attack.
The tragedy victimized not only those who were killed or injured, but also their friends and family members as they either cope with the loss of a loved one or help in overcoming the trauma of such a heartless incident.
Donations to the families of the deceased and the injured are starting to come in, as kind-hearted people provide help in whatever way they can after such tragedies. However, it should be noted that with every tragedy, there are some with malicious intent who will try to take advantage of the goodness of other people.
"The best way to help the victims, their families, and the people of Orlando is to make sure that donations end up where they belong," said BBB Wise Giving Alliance CEO and President H. Art Taylor, warning against the scams that are presenting themselves as legitimate channels to send in donations to the Orlando shooting victims.
Here are a few things to remember to avoid being scammed when sending in donations:
Study The Charity
Donors should always check the charity that they are planning to use to send their donations through. There are different databases online that can be checked to see if a charity is a legitimate one. The websites of charities can also be checked.
Donors could experience receiving phone calls that are asking for donations. It would be best not to give in to such requests and look up the legitimacy of the charity first, no matter how genuine the person on the other end of the line could sound.
Avoid Clicking On Suspicious Links
Donation requests could also be sent online through emails or messaged links. It would be best if donors would avoid accessing such emails or clicking on these links, especially if the person or email address sending them is an unfamiliar one.
Such emails and links could inject malware into the devices of donors, which would lead to the bigger problem of identity theft.
Choose Established Charities
Donors should choose to send in their donations through established charities that are well-known and have had a good track record. While a new charity may be a legitimate one, there is still a chance that it was solely created as a vehicle to scam donors.
For people looking to check if a family member or loved one is among the victims of the Orlando shooting, Facebook has launched its Safety Check feature for the tragedy. The city has also released the names of the victims.