Scammers are taking advantage of those wanting to help rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC issued a warning this week about scam artists posing as organizations seeking donations.
Fire severely damaged the 856-year-old French cathedral April 15.
The fire burned for several hours, causing the church's spire to collapse and destroying the roof.
The Federal Trade Commission offered the following tips for consumers looking to help the cathedral or any other charity.
Research the organization first. Search online for the name of the organization plus the word “complaint” or “scam.” Read what others say the about the organization. These organizations can also help your research.
It’s important to ask questions. If you get a call from someone asking for money to help rebuild the Cathedral, ask them how exactly your money will be used. Do some research before donating to any organization you are not familiar with.
Crowdfunding sites may not monitor how donations are spent. Online fundraisers should tell you who gets your donation and how your money gets to the charity. They should also tell you if they keep any part of your donation as a fee. These details should be clear and easy to find without hunting through fine print. If the details are not clear, consider taking your donation money elsewhere.