Consumers warned of fake Boston bombing charities - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Consumers warned of fake Boston bombing charities

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The Better Business Bureau is warning people about charity scams related to last year's Boston Marathon bombings as the 2014 race approaches.

Consumers should do careful research before donating money to any charity that claims to be involved with the Boston Marathon, which will take place April 21, BBB Chicago and Northern Illinois president Steve Bernas said in a statement.

"After tragic events, scammers often play to the emotions of consumers seeking donations to special funds that don't exist or that improperly distribute the donations," Bernas said in the statement.

The BBB outlined some red flags that could identify a fake charity:

— If the charity is not registered with a state government agency. Between 40 to 50 states require charities to register.

— If the charity does not specify how the funds will be used.

— If the organization does not provide accounting information about how funds were used.

Consumers should also avoid clicking on links to unfamiliar websites in emails from charities, the BBB said. Scammer sites could ask for personal financial information or download harmful malware to your computer.

Click here for a complete list of Boston Marathon charities.

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