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Fake charities asking for Fort McMurray donations

Last Updated May 4, 2016 at 11:45 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Less than a day after wildfire overtook parts of Fort McMurray, scammers are already tugging at heart strings and asking for donations.

The Better Business Bureau has come out with some tips for how to distinguish between legitimate and the false charities.

Evan Kelly with the Better Business Bureau for Mainland BC says warns us to be mindful about donating on impulse.

“I’ve seen a lot of fake Red Cross phishing emails come across my desk. The Red Cross never solicits for money in this way.”

Kelly says one safety check is to make sure you are the one instigating the donation. He says you should do some research or stick with charities you’ve made donations to in the past.

“Make sure you understand the terms and conditions, that you understand the payment process, like Red Cross for example, you can only pay with credit card and PayPal, so if you come across a Red Cross email in your inbox and they say they want a money transfer from Western Union, you instantly know it’s a scam.”

He says you should be wary of anyone asking for cash or a money transfer or going door-to-door for donations,

For a list of legitimate charities operating in Canada, you can go to the Canada Revenue Agency website.