People are in shock over the fire that ravaged the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. The fire was finally extinguished and the cathedral has suffered colossal damages. As French President, Emmanuel Macron, vowed to rebuild the landmark, thoughts have turned to financially supporting the renovation of this magnificent and historic building.
French corporations and moguls have already pledged millions to aid in the effort, and companies across the globe are starting to promise contributions, as well. However, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning individuals to “wait to donate,” to make sure donations are going to the official Notre Dame rebuilding fund and not into the hands of scammers.
“Scammers are opportunists, and they will take advantage of any major incidents is in the news,” said Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance (Give.org). “We expect to see Notre Dame fundraising appeals on social media and crowdfunding sites. Some will be from well-intentioned people who are not directly involved with the cathedral, but some may be from scammers. BBB Wise Giving Alliance is urging people to ‘wait to donate’ until an official rebuilding fund is established.”
Taylor also reminded donors in the United States that donations are more likely to be tax-deductible if they ‘wait to donate through a charity based in their own country rather than contribute through another individual, a crowdfunding site, or a foreign entity. “The rebuilding will take some time,” he added. “It’s best to wait until we have more details about which official entities are raising funds to assist the rebuilding.”
If you see a scam aimed at raising funds for Notre Dame (or any disaster), please report it to BBB Scam Tracker at BBB.org/ScamTracker. For more information on giving to trustworthy charities, go to Give.org.