BBB warns about donating through crowdfunding websites

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - With recent weather disasters, many are donating time and money to help those in need. Now, the Better Business Bureau is warning people to be careful when donating through crowdfunding websites.

Crowd funding is typically done online and allows people to raise large sums of money from a large group of people. The danger is that on many crowd sourcing websites, "anyone can post anything," says Lauren Galley with the BBB.

Galley says in order to make sure that money you donate is going to the right places, give to people and organizations you know and trust. Secondly, don't assume pictures are used with permission.

"As sad as this is, a lot of times people will use a victim's photo to raise money without that person's family even knowing about it," Galley said. "So then if their family doesn't know about it, you can pretty much guarantee that money is not going to that family." She went on to say that often times, the photos used will tug at peoples' heart strings but it's very easy to steal photos from Google, Facebook or other places.

Finally, Galley says if you want your donation to be tax deductible, it's best to go through an established charity organization.

For more information, visit the Better Business Bureau.