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BBB, state officials warn people to not get scammed by ‘relief’ fraudsters

People are generally kind, and gullible.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the Better Business Bureau are telling state residents to be wary of potential fraudulent efforts to collect "disaster relief" for the victims of the killer tornado that hit Moore, Okla. this month.

“I join the Better Business Bureau and Secretary of State in expressing sympathy to the families who’ve lost loved ones or their homes in this disaster,” said Ferguson in a press release.

“I know many share my concerns and want to provide assistance right away—but it is important to exercise caution and make sure your money helps those who truly need it.”

BBB, the AG and the Secretary of State's office has this list of guidelines to follow:

  • Be suspicious of solicitors requesting immediate donations. Don’t rush decisions and consider contributing at, a website run by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
  • Make sure that charities are qualified to provide the type of disaster relief that is necessary.
  • Avoid cash donations. Write a check directly to the charity, not the fundraiser.
  • Never give out credit card numbers over the phone.
  • Be wary of “new” charities with unverifiable background information.
  • Watch out for solicitations from fake “victim” or memorial social media accounts.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.