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Categorized | Featured, News

BBB: avoid Notre Dame donation scams

Across the globe, people are in shock over the fire that severely damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Now that the fire is out and there are only a few injuries to emergency personnel, thoughts have turned to repair and renovation of the magnificent and historic building. The cathedral was declared “structurally sound” after an inspection on Tuesday, and the president of France and mayor of Paris have both vowed to rebuild the landmark.

The historic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burning on April 15, 2019. Photo by LeLaisserPasserA38 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=78064310

French corporations and billionaires have already pledged millions to aid in the effort, and companies in other countries are starting to promise contributions, as well. However, the Better Business Bureau 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 whatever is in the news,” said Art Taylor, president and CEO of 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 Canada and 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.”

NOTE: BBB will update this report as more information becomes available on the official fundraising efforts. Bookmark BBB.org/NotreDame and check back for updates.

For more information:

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.

For tips on avoiding scams, go to BBB.org/AvoidScams.

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