Don't let scammers steal donations meant for the families of Boulder shooting victims

FBI warns of uptick in charity scams right now
Be aware of scams when donating to support families of Boulder shooting victims
Posted at 4:44 AM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 08:22:59-04

Communities in Colorado and across the nation continue to mourn the lives that were lost in the shooting at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder. During the last several days memorials have been established for the victims as the support grows for those who have lost so much. News5 shares ways you can still help the families of the victims and a warning about how fraudsters may try to capitalize on this tragedy.

We know Colorado has seen it's share of tragedies, but in the aftermath of each situation, people have stepped up to support those who need it most.

Unfortunately, this is also an opportunity for scammers to pose as a charity looking to help, when in reality they just want to take your money.

The FBI issued a warning for consumers about scammers soliciting donations for individuals and groups affected by the pandemic. Consumer protection experts fear the same tactics may be used to try to target people looking to donate to help those impacted by the violence in Boulder.

When donating to a charity the experts suggest paying with a credit card and give to organizations you know. Also, do your homework. You can check that the charity is registered in our state.

Robin Finegan from the Colorado Healing Fund encourages people to take steps to be smart about how you give and says she's seen the difference this support makes for both the victims and the giver.

"One of the ways that people connect with that humanity is by saying, what can I do?," said Finegan. "It certainly can't bring people back. It can't heal your broken heart. But what it can do is provide resources so that you're not alone in this struggle."

The Federal Trade Commission suggests you use these websites to research organizations and lookup how much is spent on programs and services versus overhead and fundraising:

BBB Wise Giving Alliance

Supervisory Special Agent Keith Custer with FBI also wants you not to give into the pressure to give over the phone. He says in many cases the caller could be an impostor.

"All of the fraudsters are just kind of adapting their normal playbook to incorporate something that might be a little more believable // "When you're being asked to do something unusual like buy a bunch of gift cards to pay for something, sometimes people let their guard down and think oh well, that seems reasonable when in fact it really isn't," said Custer.

If you are still looking to give in support of the victims in Boulder the Colorado Healing Fund is just one three official donation funds identified by Boulder County. The Colorado State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police and Community Foundation Boulder County are the other two.

Here are the links to those recognized charities:

Another suggestion before you give to a charity just do a quick internet search with the name of the charity followed by "complaint," "review," "rating," or "scam." If there are issues, there's a chance someone has already reported it and it could save you the heartache.