Better Business Bureau: Memorial Day scammers will prey on patriotic emotions

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 4:19 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As Missourians honor Memorial Day, the Better Business Bureau is warning about scammers who want to prey on people’s goodwill.

It’s the holiday when Americans remember those who’ve given their lives in service to the country.

Pamela Hernandez, regional director of Springfield’s Better Business Bureau office, says the scam attempts come in a variety of forms.

“I think the most important thing to be aware of is that scammers know it’s an emotional time, and so sometimes they will create organizations fake charities that sound very similar to legitimate ones,” Hernandez said. “So, it’s very important to make sure you read the name carefully. Look at the website carefully and verify that it is a legitimate charity.”

Hernandez advises anyone hoping to donate to a charity to be on the lookout for any unsolicited messages, especially from organizations they don’t recognize.

Also, she advises vetting all the organization’s information, including its web address, phone number, physical address, and any other attributes.

Hernandez said that if the appeal is time-sensitive, it should be viewed with extra scrutiny.

“Consumers need to be aware of unsolicited random highly emotional high-pressure appeals, particularly when they come through email or text,” Hernandez said. “When you click on an unsolicited text or email, you can also leave your computer vulnerable to viruses to malware, as well as potentially giving money to an unscrupulous scammer.”

The BBB has a website that allows consumers to independently check on any charitable organization to see if it’s operating responsibly and transparently. It also has a database of pre-vetted organizations that have the bureau’s endorsement.

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