Better Business Bureau Urges Caution When Donating to Japanese Relief Charity

The Better Business Bureau is urging you to be cautious when donating to a Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief charity.

The BBB warns that fraudulent charities may scam donations from Hoosiers. When donating to a charity, be cautious when relying on bloggers or other website recommendations regarding charities.

Find out who will benefit from your donation in Japan and what type of assistance will be provided. Be wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will assist Japan. Despite what an organization might claim, charities have fundraising and administrative costs and a portion of your donation will be used for those purposes.

Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups that are active in Japan. Be cautious about online giving, especially in response to spam messages and email that claim to link to a relief organization.

Gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations are not recommended. Most foreign relief organizations prefer cash donations so that supplies can be purchased near the relief site.

To research charities and relief organizations supported by the Better Business Bureau, visit this website.